Democrats & Liberals Archives

You've Got Mail (The Feds Have Read It)

President Bush has decided that the Constitution, once again, needs to be altered so that his expansion of Executive power and or diminishing of checks and balances can reach its full potential.

How can a man who hides behind Democracy as an excuse to invade Iraq, single handedly turn the Executive branch of our Democratic government ever so closer to an autocracy?

President Bush claimed new powers through, once again, a "signing statement", that allows him to read your mail during "emergency conditions." Before we get our boxers in a bunch, we must understand that Cheney(oops) Bush will determine what is and when we are in an "emergency condition." They will determine if your Publishers Clearinghouse letter or Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition are a threat to national security.

We can all attest to the sound judgement of this administration, right?

The president asserted his new authority when he signed Rep. John (Total GOP tool) McHugh's(R) postal reform bill into law during the Congressional recess and a year after his secret domestic electronic eavesdropping program was revealed. The Bush administration claims that they are spreading Democracy throughout the Middle East. The Bush administration claims that they are spreading freedom throughout the world.

Why then are they simultaniously stealing our civil liberties by way of sleazy, underhanded, deceptive "signing statements?"

Because we'll let them.

Turn on your televisions, go on vacation, fill up the SUV and let someone else worry about it.
We have lost 3,000 men and women in Iraq.

We have lost our government to large corporations who's sole purpose is to turn a profit at any expense. (environment, health, safety be damned)

Our planet is dying.

The top 1% of households(the super wealthy who are the real policy makers in the United States) own 33.4% of privately held wealth and the next tier(the wealthy) 19% own 51% which means the super wealthy and wealthy own 84% of the wealth and power which leaves 16% of the wealth to the bottom 80% of U.S. citizens.(Middle class and poor be damned)

Obesity and a dramatic rise in Diabetes is fostered by the Federal government through corn farming subsidies because it only effects those who can't afford healthy food. See: "How The Feds Make Bad-For-You food Cheaper Than Healthful Fare" by Tom Philpot or "Fat Of The Land" by Scott Fields or "The Ironic Politics of Obesity" by Marion Nestle

Watch "Friends" reruns, order a pizza and enjoy all the fructose, glucose packed treats and let others worry about it.

Ignore all that is wrong with the United States, hell, call the people who speak up "unpatriotic" and "Liberals."

It will go away all by itself.

The wealthy will feel guilty and stop buying our government, you know, level the playing field.

Our representatives will actually represent us.

Go to the movies, or a professional sports game(If you can afford it) and leave the worrying to the whining, unAmerican, pro-terrorist left-wing moon bats.

All you need to do is listen to corporate owned commentators like Rush, Hannity and O'Rielly. They are the salve that soothes the apathetic soul.

Will we protest? Nah

Will we call for Bush's impeachment? Nah

Will we force our government to change? Nah

Why not?

Interupt "must see T.V.," No way! Get arrested for my beliefs? Hell no! Make an effort to save this once great nation? No way! What would the neighbors think?

To all of us who are about to let more Bush administration erosion of our rights as Americans slide.

I look forward to meeting you face to face at Guantanamo one day. We'll "shoot hoops" and lift weights.

I hope they have Cable T.V.

Posted by Andre M. Hernandez at January 4, 2007 9:32 AM
Comments
Comment #201452

Care to provide a legitimate link?

Posted by: cliff at January 4, 2007 11:38 AM
Comment #201457

Here is the link to the White House’s release via the USPS.

Here is the link to the Union’s view of the law.

Then there is the President’s signing statement that corrupts the Bill - Here is the quote:

WASHINGTON - President Bush has quietly claimed sweeping new powers to open Americans’ mail without a judge’s warrant, the Daily News has learned.

The President asserted his new authority when he signed a postal reform bill into law on Dec. 20. Bush then issued a “signing statement” that declared his right to open people’s mail under emergency conditions.

That claim is contrary to existing law and contradicted the bill he had just signed, say experts who have reviewed it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 4, 2007 12:17 PM
Comment #201459

And of course there will be posters defending warrantless opening of mail.

This should make any reasonable person puke.

Posted by: Trent at January 4, 2007 12:28 PM
Comment #201462

I have a question. Now there are over 300,000,000 people in our country. Now how long will it take Bush and Cheney to go through enough mail to get around to David and Andre’s mail. Maybe they can create a large conspiracy and have all the police in the country help.

All three credit unions have more information on you two than the gov could ever find by wire tapping or reading our mail.


Just what are you afraid of them finding?

It just was not fair when my parents went snooping in my brothers room when he was in high school. When they found the drugs it really as not fair. Now he is thankful.

By the way, it looks like the fight between the far left and the Dems is on. Cindy Shehan is already seeing that the far left also lost in the last election.

Sheehan, Iraq War Protesters Break Up House Democrats’ Press Conference

Posted by: scottie at January 4, 2007 12:47 PM
Comment #201465

scottie,

Your comments make you sound like a model citizen… of the Soviet Union.

Posted by: Woody Mena at January 4, 2007 12:55 PM
Comment #201468

Scottie,

In other words, if your rights aren’t being abused, you couldn’t care less if someone else’s are.

Posted by: Trent at January 4, 2007 12:59 PM
Comment #201469

I say we require a 5 day waiting period and background check for people wishing to use the mail system.

Posted by: kctim at January 4, 2007 1:29 PM
Comment #201470

Scottie, privacy is the best protection a citizen has from abuse by government. There are many ways to skin a cat. The Government, in any country, is far more likely to expose a critic’s whoring activities, or homosexual relationships, or causes which they support by check or credit card which, may cast an unpopular light or contradictory public image on perfectly legal behavior, than they are to arrest and detain a critic.

Arresting and detaining critics brings public light to issues those in government may be more inclined to keep quiet. Hence, the absence of privacy permits officials a host of opportunities to subtly, and through unofficial agents, ruin a person’s credibility or influence as a critic of those officials.

We have seen this take place in our own government. Some instances as recently as last year.

But the bigger issue here is the violation of the Constitution and laws emanating from it by this President which completely subverts the rule of law and inserts the rule of men by whim or fancy as they alone deem fit. This is precisely what Pres. Bush has done here, as in the past with these signing orders that in his mind give legitimacy to his violation of his oath to protect and defend the Constitution. He is instead subverting it.

An attack on the integrity of our Constitution by illegal means is an act of treason, no less than giving away secrets of vulnerability to our enemies. The enemy of our Constitution and laws within our government are those who set it aside as a hindrance, and they are every bit as dangerous to our way of life and continuity of our democracy as an American spy who sells our vulnerabilities to foreign enemies.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 4, 2007 1:36 PM
Comment #201472

Thanks for the links…

If the government needs to act very quickly and aggressively to insure our safety, what do you suggest? (hint…getting a warrant is not a valid option)

Posted by: cliff at January 4, 2007 1:41 PM
Comment #201475

Cliff,

Do you really want to live in fear?
The Bush administration wants you afraid. You’re easier to control that way.
Being American means being free. It means having inalienable rights that guarentee justice for myself and my fellow Americans.
There are ramifications that come with giving away your rights in the name of security.
If this administration wanted to protect you, wouldn’t there be better border control, port security, protection of nuke and chemical facilities?
This is not for your protection, it’s for control, power and their protection.
Open your eyes.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at January 4, 2007 1:57 PM
Comment #201476

Tell it, Andre.
Let me just add one thing:
Who needs to adhere to the Constitution when we all know that Bush has a very special relationship with God? That means everything he does must be good, and no one should ever question his complete authority over us.

Posted by: Adrienne at January 4, 2007 2:02 PM
Comment #201477

Here’s some of the long history of the federal government illegally opening mail. This report is from 1976. It’s disheartening how often our government engages in criminal behavior.

Posted by: Trent at January 4, 2007 2:08 PM
Comment #201478

Don’t worry Andre, they will open their eyes soon enough. With pelosi being sworn in and what is going to happen in 08, many will open their eyes again.
Won’t matter though. For each pair of eyes that are opened will only be met with a pair which have chosen to be closed.
Nothing will change.

Posted by: kctim at January 4, 2007 2:19 PM
Comment #201481

Andre, Marty Kaplan commented on this subject today in Huffpo.
Here’s the link.

Posted by: Adrienne at January 4, 2007 2:46 PM
Comment #201483

Andre,

You may live in fear, but I do not…
My eyes are open, and yes, there are a lot of things that we should be doing.

However, you evidently have closed your eyes and did not read and have not answered my question.

But, I must admit, the rhetoric is amusing.

Posted by: cliff at January 4, 2007 3:00 PM
Comment #201487

Andre,
Thank you so much for ruining my day and my new year!

This President is so hellbent on becoming the evil that he pretends to fight. The President’s behavior is so reprehensible that words can’t adequately describe it.

Privacy isn’t defined by Bush’s view; it’s defined by the Constitution. A document that will outlive the likes of Bush and his cohorts.

Thanks for ruining my beautiful day.

Posted by: john trevisani at January 4, 2007 3:10 PM
Comment #201494

“Gentlemen do not read each other’s mail,” said Henry Stimson, US secretary of state, in 1931 when he closed down America’s agency that deciphered foreign secret messages.

Lucky we had no further need to for things like that, since the 1930s/40s/50s… were such times of peace and security.

As for the other part of your post - being fat - if you eat moderately and move around a little you are not fat. Fat is a voluntary state for all but around 3% of the population. Since more than 3% are fat, it just indicates a lack of self discipline.

Posted by: Jack at January 4, 2007 4:11 PM
Comment #201507

Jack,

if we are to accept your arguement as true, that being lean is simply a function of self-discipline, then I guess the entire world has lost self-control. From the WHO:

…obesity rates have risen three-fold or more since 1980 in some areas of North America, the United Kingdom, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, the Pacific Islands, Australasia and China.The obesity epidemic is not restricted to industrialized societies; this increase is often faster in developing countries than in the developed world.

There is a simple solution to reduced obesity in the US - education. Yep, just make sure you get yourself parents who see to it that you go to graduate school and you have reduced your chances of being obese by one-third.

The WHO says the problem is result of cultural change and more urban, sedentary work/less manual labor. While China has less than 5% obesity overall, the obesity rate in its cities is more than 20%.

Jack, if the majority of the planet is getting fatter all at once, maybe there are some factors that should be controlled. Maybe fast food advertising should be regulated, at least for children.


Posted by: CPAdams at January 4, 2007 5:47 PM
Comment #201510

To anyone who says the the crappy argument “if you have nothing to hide…blah, blah, blah”
Please showcase all the following information in a comment:
Your phone number
Your address
A list of close friends
Financial history and record
Criminal history and record
Academic history and record
Any history of drug related activities
Internet history, as in ALL the sites you’ve ever visited
Sexual orientation
Political orientation
Religious orientation
Ethnic background
Social security number
Any history of abortion
Any marriage problems if married
Recent vists in or out of the country
Recent books you’ve taken out of the library
Any history of abuse from a parent
and any other information the governemnt ought to know in order to protect the great FREEDOMS we Americans enjoy.

Posted by: greenstuff at January 4, 2007 5:53 PM
Comment #201513

There is no accounting for folks who in the same breath say they trust government and despise one or other of the parties that manage it. It is a complete disconnect in logic.

Many trusted government when it was run by Republicans, no doubt due to the belief that their having voted Republican or made a donation to the GOP somehow protected them. Now that power is shifting again to Democrats, will these same say they trust government? If not, why would they logically expect Democratic voters to have trusted a Republican government?

The fact is, government is NOT as beholding to political party as it is to the power of keeping power. When it comes to power, party is just a tool demanding no allegiance if power is at stake. Case in point, the many Republicans in government who are about to vote bi-partisanly with Democrats in order to secure their ‘08 re-election.

Only the gullible or uneducated would ever trust the power of government in the hands of those adept at wielding it. That is why our founding fathers designed a government such that wielding power is excruciatingly slow and cumbersome for the ambitious.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 4, 2007 6:26 PM
Comment #201515

CPAdams

We have Pleistocene brains. Our species grew up in an environment where food was scarce. When you got a chance you ate all you could and you ate the highest calorie food you found.

For most of our history, few people got even enough to eat. Being fat was not a problem if you are starving part of the year.

Now for the first time in human history, food is constantly available to almost all humans. This comes at the same time we no longer need to use our bodies. Strenuous d work has largely disappeared in modern societies. Some work is still hard, but it is mostly tiring, not good exercise.

Industrial workers used to throw around 100 lb bags. Now machines do it. The same goes for a lot of farm work. And most people do not even do that. The biggest gut builder is the car.

Anyway, we are not bred for the world we live in. We have to exert our own will to live right. If you are fat and you do not want to be, stop it. Maybe do some exercise. Park farther away. Drop to dounut. Bring your mind out of the stone age.

Greenstuff

The government already knows or can easily find out those things on the list.

The government is not the biggest threat to your privacy. You are. It is easy to follow somebody’s internet tracks. People volunteer all sorts of information to strangers.

I do not much care if the government reads my mail, as long as they seal up the envelopes and don’t steal anything. The sad truth for most of us is that nobody really cares what we do. The government would not even bother to investigate you.

Posted by: Jack at January 4, 2007 6:31 PM
Comment #201534
I say we require a 5 day waiting period and background check for people wishing to use the mail system.

Ha! Good one, kctim. But, how about if we just require a warrant before President Bush steals my Pennysaver coupons from my mail box.

And yes, cliff, a warrant is a valid option. It’s the difference between America and North Korea.

Posted by: American Pundit at January 4, 2007 7:47 PM
Comment #201563

cliff and scottie-
If you are so sure about this, why don’t you volunteer to have your mail opened first? After all, you have nothing to hide.

Of course, you would have to avoid having embarrassing medical problems, you couldn’t get into debt for anything, and of course if you jokingly said anything that could be construed as a threat, you could meet your friends in Gitmo, because of course we’ve suspended habeas corpus.

These rights are part of interlocking system that it’s just not wise to tamper with, even to defend our country. The bright spot is, the more reason you have to actually spy on people, the more evidence you’ll likely have to support going after them legally.

But of course, you want to do things the “easy” way. You confuse haste with speed, and speed with efficiency.

Truth is, if we really have national emergency, our government could easily justify extralegal actions on that basis. What Bush wants to do is institutionalize the state of emergency, and do it by what’s generally agreed to be constitutionally illegitimate means. But never mind, the constitution is just an incovenience for those who know they’re right already. Our leaders are far too wise to need such constraints. They couldn’t possibly get things wrong.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 4, 2007 11:16 PM
Comment #201568

Can anyone explain to me why a conservative wants smaller government, doesnt trust government and claims government cannot do anything right and must he privatized, yet find its perfectly ok for W to totally misconstrue a law, modify it to his whims then allow someone in his Administration to open mail without a warrant?
Why is it acceptable for just government officials to open a persons mail? Why shouldnt each and every American have that same responsibility to protect this country from the terrorist and liberals?

Posted by: j2t2 at January 4, 2007 11:41 PM
Comment #201589
Now for the first time in human history, food is constantly available to almost all humans.

Seventeen percent of the World Population is suffering from severe malnutrition. This seventeen percent live in a persistent state of severe malnutrition; this does not include the percentage of population that suffers occasion or seasonal malnourishment or live in a state of moderate hunger.

One out of two deaths in developing countries can be partly attributable to poor nutrition. One out of three premature deaths in the world can be attributed to poor nutrition.

Check your facts, these came from the WHO website.

On another note; evidence suggests that our present President and his administration, has become so arrogant, that they do not realize they are part of the problem, facing the American people.

It seems ironic that we have just paid our last respects to President Gerald Ford, who had the dubious honor of replacing a President who felt he could operate above the law of the land.

While to some, it may seem honorable to forfeit their rights as U.S. citizens in order for our government to provide more protection for all. I believe the contrary is true. We only dishonor our forefathers who fought to provide and preserve our Constitution, in order that we could call ourselves free men. We would also do a disservice to our descendants, if we would so readily forfeit the rights, we were entrusted to preserve for them.

Posted by: Cube at January 5, 2007 4:10 AM
Comment #201594

How about if we just get govt back out of our personal lives AP?

Posted by: kctim at January 5, 2007 8:57 AM
Comment #201597

Cliff,

I am of the opinion that I should not be the subject of any type of investigation w/o warrant.
I do not feel that the government has a right to do anything other than work for the American people. Have you forgotten the fact that they work for us. They have.
I’m glad you enjoy my rhetoric. I find your “24” scenerios amusing too.
Why do Republicans embrace fear so readily?
War on Christmas, culture war, war on terror, war on marriage etc. It must be a pretty dismal existence and it leaves them susceptable to a herd mentality.
There is very little diversity of thought from Republicans because the bottom line if fear and more fear.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at January 5, 2007 9:36 AM
Comment #201598

kctim, sorta sounds like what this thread is about,getting government out of our personel lives. After all reading my mail is my personal business.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 5, 2007 9:37 AM
Comment #201601

Actually J2, this thread is about getting a Republican govt out of our personal lives.
The same people complaining now are the same people who sit back and nod in agreement when it’s their “side” doing the intruding and violating.

Right above your post, Andre talks about how fearful the evil Republicans are but he neglects to mention the final piece of the equation, a point which is the only answer to returning our country to the original ideas on which it was founded: Both sides are guilty of using fear to take away our rights and we the people will only get them back by finally acknowledging that it is govt, as a whole, which violates our Constitution.

For every Republican who is so fearful and allows the things such as Andre states, there is someone from the left who supports govt taking away rights based on their own fears.
Get rid of guns, regardless of the 2nd Amendment, because guns kill people. Don’t give people the freedom to provide for themselves because some won’t do it. Don’t give people the freedom of choice because somebody might get screwed. Don’t let people care for who they wish, because old people will have to eat catfood and will be living in the streets. Etc…

We will never get back our Constitutional rights as long as only half of the people only care at any one given time.
Dems care now but didn’t care when they were in power. Reps cared when they weren’t in power, but they don’t now.
It’s a cycle and as long as we are divided, our freedoms will continue to disappear.

Posted by: kctim at January 5, 2007 10:27 AM
Comment #201612

KcTim,

“Get rid of guns, regardless of the 2nd Amendment, because guns kill people. Don’t give people the freedom to provide for themselves because some won’t do it. Don’t give people the freedom of choice because somebody might get screwed. Don’t let people care for who they wish, because old people will have to eat catfood and will be living in the streets. Etc…”

Posted by KcTim

Democrats want strict gun laws, so I will concede that point.
Democrats interfere with your ability to provide for yourself?
Democrats are against choice? I thought we were pro-choice?
Democrats want old people to eat cat food and sleep on the streets?
Huh?

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at January 5, 2007 12:33 PM
Comment #201643

The never ending twisting,spinning, smearing, distorting and dishonesty from the left is getting very boring.

Posted by: Stephen at January 5, 2007 3:43 PM
Comment #201647

Andre
You gave some examples of where you believe Reps allow fear to take over.
I gave some where Dems do the exact same thing.
Liberals use fear, brought on mainly from criminals and school shootings, to take away 2nd Amendment rights.
The Reps use fear, brought on by 9-11, to take away 4th Amendment rights.
Reps use fear, such as saying pro-choice means every baby can be killed whenever, to get support for a total ban on all abortions.
Liberals use fear, such as old people will die, live in the streets or be eating cat food, if we give people the choice to provide for their own retirement and provide charity, as they see fit.

That is the point I was trying to make.
Condemning the taking of one right while condoning the taking of another is wrong.
If only half of the people only care about half of their rights at any one time, then we will continue to loose those rights.

Posted by: kctim at January 5, 2007 4:07 PM
Comment #201678

Stephen-
Is there an actual argument there, or can you tell me where the executive branch has the right to go through people’s letters without a warrant? I believe that’s explicitly unconsitutional.

Is the constitution merely there to be an inconvenience to the wise folks on the right? No. Is it there to deliver us to our enemies? No. Well what is it there for? To tell our government what it can and cannot do, to prevent abuses.

Probable cause, Stephen, is the important concept here. What reason does the government have to open your mail? Have you done something or associated with somebody that leads authorities to believe that a crime has been committed, and information about this might be in your mail? If the answer is no, then why are we having this conversation? If we follow the legal standards, we’re more likely to come up with more hits, because we’ll be focused on the provable rather than the suspectable.

The closer we are to adhering to good information the better off we all are. Bush’s doctrines take us away from that, into unproductive paranoia and unfettered government invasiveness. The cause and effect between a person’s actions and affiliations and their investigations becomes more tenuous.

kctim-
First, we haven’t lost them. Second, nobody’s perfect, so this society is set up to where there’s a mutual watchdogging on this subject. Third, just because one doesn’t completely run the gamut on constitutional rights doesn’t mean one lacks a point. Maintaining the integrity of the constitution is a team effort.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 5, 2007 8:26 PM
Comment #201716
The same people complaining now are the same people who sit back and nod in agreement when it’s their “side” doing the intruding and violating.

No way, kctim. Try as you might, you won’t find anybody here saying the President should have the power to spy on American citizens without a warrant. That’s a basic Constitutional issue and I can’t believe I’m hearing Republicans cheering the shredding of that document and jeering anyone who thinks the Constitution is important.

And yes, let’s get the government out of our personal lives. It’s one thing for the government to tell me I can’t build a strip club next to a highschool or engage in promiscuous shootin’ within city limits, but quite another for them to override my decisions on whether to pull the tube from a brain-dead family member or tell me I can’t goddamn marry another guy if I want to (which I don’t, BTW). Yes, let’s get the government out of our personal lives, kctim.

Posted by: American Pundit at January 6, 2007 2:42 AM
Comment #201773

How about caring for all their rights all the time, Kctim?

AP - I with you, but I can’t for the live of me figure out what to do about it…

Posted by: Linda H. at January 6, 2007 5:22 PM
Comment #201790

This is not a constitutional issue. It’s about left wing, anti war, elightend liberals who oppose any war with radical islam and deny that we are at war with riadical islam.

Once you admit we are at war with people trying to butcher us, the president has all the authority he needs to filter communications to catch them before they kill us.

Anyone notice that Candadian terrorist attack that was thwarted because their government intercepted their email plotting?

so lets get real folks. This isn’t about Bush giving a damn about your personal life. This is the cultural war: left wing socialists vs capitalist free markets. Any efforts to defend America capitalism are bad, any move to socialism is good. Any enemy of capitalist America becomes a “ligitimate voice of decent” for you folks.

Why can you not acknowledge this? Because you can’t sell it. So everything else is a smoke screen to sell your real agenda. You don’t get it? You believe the smoke screen? Not really you don’t, you know you are radicalized and see yourself as a cultural warrior for the socialist left.

Posted by: Stephen at January 6, 2007 7:45 PM
Comment #201945

Stephen

I see that you’ve been drinking a lot of “cool aid” with your hero, Bill O’Reilly, lately.

Culture War-noun-a excuse to make gross generalizations and sweeping accusations based on stereotypes, ignorance, and fear of the “unknown”.

Posted by: greenstuff at January 7, 2007 9:28 PM
Comment #202043

Stephen,

Thank you for proving my point about the fear mongering, finger pointing and name calling by the right.
You can call us socialists all you want, it does not change the fact that the President is doing something unconstitutional and he can’t use fear to hide it from the American people. He can only scare the folks who are fearful by nature (or who don’t want to or can’t see through the many lies). He has no credibility with the rest of us.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at January 8, 2007 2:36 PM
Comment #203769

The diabetes in America became an essential problem, struggle with which is priority problem American Diabetes Association WBR LeoP

Posted by: Leo at January 17, 2007 8:32 PM
Comment #203833

The diabetes in America became an essential problem, struggle with which is priority problem American Diabetes Association WBR LeoP

Posted by: Leo at January 18, 2007 12:02 PM
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