KIDNAPPED GI's FOUND MURDERED IN IRAQ, SEARCH FOR BUSH'S MISSING COMMON SENSE CONTINUES File this under: DUH! Despite the plans of Dubya and his goons, al-Qaida in Iraq did not throw up their arms in defeat after we dropped a few 500 pound bombs on their leader. There was, it seems, just one flaw is Bush's plan, common sense. We bomb them, they bomb us, we bomb them back, they'll just give up, right? The way to end the fighting isn't with more fighting. For every al-Qaida member we kill (especially their leaders who instantly achieve martyr status upon death) three more will rise to take up the cause. The way to end the fighting is (drum roll please) to END the fighting. The two American soldiers (ages 23 and 25) who were kidnapped last week in Iraq were found today, they had been murdered in "barbaric" fashion by members of al-Qaida. But didn't we blow up their leader? How can they keep killing people? They can't just appoint a new leader, can they George? Bush hardly batted an eyelash. These soldiers are just like G. I. Joe action figures to him. If he loses a few he can just have his daddy get him some more to replace them. If one of these young men was the son of the President, or a member of Congress, would the Bush party line still be "stay the course"? You'd be hard pressed to find many (if any) children of members of the House or Senate risking their lives on the front lines in Iraq. I guess part of "stay the course" is making sure their children stay safely at home in the United States. It's time to stray from the course. We need to concentrate on problems here at home. We spend billions and billions of dollars to fight this war but can't find the money to give every American health insurance. We can give young men and women guns and send them to war but we can't give most children a decent education. There is a $350,000 fine for saying "fuck" on television but leaking information about the CIA goes unpunished. While we're in Iraq, North Korea is getting ready to test their missiles, China owns our war debt, Iran and Russia can do whatever they please. It's time to bring our soldiers and our tax dollars home and ship Dubya and his merry men off to Iraq...for good. E-Z PASS NOW ACCEPTED FOR 4TH AMENDMENT BYPASS Offices in the Homeland Security Department and Justice Department, including the FBI and U.S. Marshal's Service, and municipal police departments in numerous states are using a new E-Z Pass to circumvent the 4th Amendment, private-sector data brokers. These data brokers collect information about American citizens by any means necessary, often even breaking the law to do so. They have gotten into customer accounts online, tricked phone companies into revealing information, impersonated companies and individuals, and even acknowledged that their practices violate laws, according to documents gathered by congressional investigators and provided to The Associated Press. Instead of getting a subpoena or a warrant, law enforcement officials can just buy the information they want from one of these brokers. They claim that it is much faster than waiting the 30-45 days that the legal process could take. Couldn't illegal immigrants just use this same argument? "I didn't want to wait the three or more years to legally obtain citizenship and figured it'd just be faster to pay some guy $100 to sneak me across the border". Legal experts say law enforcement agencies would be permitted to use illegally obtained information from private parties without violating the Fourth Amendment's protection against unlawful search and seizure, as long as police did not encourage any crimes to be committed. Buying information that you know was possibly obtained illegally isn't encouraging the behavior? If you steal a car stereo, and I buy it from you (not knowing it was stolen but certainly knowing that it was possible) and then offer to buy more of them from you at a later date, aren't I encouraging you to steal more? Congressional investigators estimated the U.S. government spent $30 million last year buying personal data from private brokers. That number likely understates the broad scope of the transactions, because many brokers said they rarely charge law enforcement agencies any price. None of the police agencies interviewed by AP said they bothered to research these data brokers to determine how they secretly gather sensitive information like names associated with unlisted numbers, records of phone calls, e-mail aliases, credit information, or even tracing a person's location using their cellular phone signal. This is dangerous. Law enforcement no longer needs to work within the confines of the law. Let me repeat that. In order to "enforce the law", law enforcement officials are gathering (sometimes purchasing) information from groups who break the law in order to obtain said information. Breaking the law to uphold the law. Scary. While law enforcement is busy spying on us, gathering our personal information by any means necessary, who is watching them? It is the media's job to watch the government to assure that their actions do not go unchecked. The media is failing. Who is watching the media to make sure they are doing their job? It should be the public. We already know who's watching the public, big brother and their new friends, the data-brokers.
CINCO DE MILLER While in college at the University of Massachusetts, I had a group of friends who had a house way out in the boonies. My friend Matt, who lived there, was a huge pot-head. He often had advice to offer while on one of his stoner-rants and I'd like to take this opportunity to acknowledge a bit of his wisdom. I don't recall the exact year but it was most likely 2000 or 2001. Matt and his roommates were having a big party at their house in celebration of Cinco De Mayo. I arrived somewhat early to beat the crowd, and strolled through the door drinking my first Corona of the evening. As I entered the house, Matt was sitting in an easy chair facing the door and immediately began to berate me for my choice in beverages, "Corona? You can't drink Corona!" Before I could even open my mouth to argue, he continued, "You're Miller! You can't drink Corona!" It was Cinco De Mayo, I wanted to drink Corona. I would have to plead my case. "Dude, it's Cinco De Mayo, everyone drinks Corona." My logic seemed flawless. Matt didn't think so. "You're Miller, man! You shouldn't ever drink anything but Miller beer! You should make a suit out of nothing but Miller beer cans that says 'Miller' all over it," he continued, "Then you should get a big cooler full of Miller and stand in the middle of campus and shotgun beers and hand them out to people and shout 'Woo-hoo! It's Miller-time baby!'...I bet you'd get a commercial deal or something". I laughed, shrugged off the suggestion, and went in search of a lime to add to my corona. Thinking back on it now, it probably was a great idea. So, if you work for the Miller beer company and want to give me a commercial deal, you know where to find me. In the mean time, I'll start working on my beer-can suit. SHHHH BE VERY QUIET I'm hunting for the truth. You'll be able to check back later this week and see what I caught first hand. Until then, share the Spoon, share the truth. If you don't, who will?