Monday, January 23, 2006

Google this!

So, the government wants to know what we're searching for when we 'Google'. It's interesting to note here, the ONLY reason we're hearing about this is because Google is fighting the subpoena for it's search engin records. Yahoo, and AOL complied without a whimper. Am I surprised? Not one darn bit.
What am sick and damned tired of hearing is this...
"[I think] the government's actions are warranted in this case, they can do pretty much whatever they need to do to keep us safe,"
Safe from what?
Looking at porn?
The government wants Google's search engin records because they contend that this search usage data will help it understand how often web users encounter material considered "harmful to minors" as a result of using a search engine, and to determine how effective filtering software is, according to the motion.
Yeah, right.
Well excuse the heck out of me if I happen to think whether or not I choose to view pornography (or pornography related material) on my home computer is MY business and no body elses. Guess what? Pretty much everyone who visits my blog also visits and reads blogs that have pornography related material ON A DAILY (at least semi-daily) BASIS. Yep, that's right, YOU (and YOU know who I'm talking to). I could name two that fit the bill. I won't but I could. Is that any of my business?
Nope, it is not. But if you're going to lie down and let the government infringe on your right to privacy why shouldn't I?

Speaking of safe.
I've been living in this country most of my life. I lived here BEFORE September 11th, 2001 and I've lived here since. Do I feel any safer now than I did before? Nope, sure don't. Do I somehow think that just because there hasn't been another attack since 9/11 that we're now safer or that possible attacks have been prevented? No, I don't. We hadn't been attacked in seven years prior to 9/11 either. It takes time to plan a major attack. Has anyone noticed that Osama Ben Ladin is STILL alive and making his veiled threats? Is it possible the next big attack is in the works and is just around the corner? Duh!
How far are they/we going to take this notion that the threat of terrorism gives the government and by extention the President, carte blanch for an all assault on our basic constitutional rights?
People have you READ the so called 'Patriot' Act?

Wake UP people. We need to be on our phones, writing letters, getting the message to our Senators and Representatives, "we" the people are NOT willing to sacrifice any more of our rights and freedoms in the name of fighting terrorism. If we continue in this vein, the terrorist has won. Because in the end we will have given up all that makes us what we are. A country of the people, for the people and by the people.
The thing about this war on terror is this, there is no WINNING. Unless we wipe everyone else off the face of the earth. How do you fight a nameless, faceless enemy? Well you don't do it by giving up everything you hold dear.

On Friday in his speech to the RNC, Karl Rove made it clear what the Republican Party's stratagy for the 2006 elections is going to be. "Rove promised to make the war on terrorism a central campaign issue in November 2006." Well hell yeah. Of course they are. Because other wise Americans might have to actually pay attention and deal with the ongoing corruption within the Republican Party, the continual onslaught on the Constitution by this administration, and the war in IRAQ. Which by the way appears to be getting worse rather than better, despite the continued promise by the 'right' that after the elections (ect) things will start to turn around. Guess what? They haven't. And now we have the threat ( and unlike Iraq, a very real one I might add) of Iran. Can anyone tell me how wiretapping, and Google search engin records are going to protect us from IRAN?
How far are they going to take this notion that the threat of terrorism gives the President, the administration, the NSA, or the government the right to invade that we hold most dear.

"As for myself, I'd rather be blown up, right here, right now, than watch the Constitution be torn asunder. I'm serious, blow me right up. Goodnight, Bonzai, Kaboom. But that's not really the choice. Except for in some bizarre and unique scenario (the kind writers of paranoia-fiction might imagine), obtaining warrants, as required by law, is not going to give terrorists any extra opportunities to attack us. That's a scare tactic used by the White House to convince us to give into fear and allow the President to elevate himself above the law, the Constitution and the American people."[source]

Should we allow fear to guide us away from our Constitutional principles? For guidance, let's look to one of our most beloved Founding Fathers...

Benjamin Franklin (whose 300th bithday we celebrate this past week) once said, "They that would give up essential liberty, to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Of course there will those who will say, what good is liberty if your dead, well I'll ask you this what good is life without liberty? I'll stand alongside Patrick Henry and cry out "Give me liberty or give me death"!
What say you?


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