an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime

If you grew up in the south or mid-west you were reminded every Sunday that you were a sinner. Ain’t nobody perfect would be the secualr version of the same sentiments. Yet the reminders that we are all flawed is or was not intended to be a challege to go out and sin up a storm, it was a reminder to try and do better. So when Bush, Cheney, Karl Rove, and their blogland echo use this in defense of warranttless surveillance from the SOTU, “We now know that two of the hijackers in the United States placed telephone calls to Al Qaeda operatives overseas, but we did not know about their plans until it was too late.”…they’re sin’n up a storm, they ain’t learned nothin and ain’t gonna learn nothin.

It wasn’t a lack of intelligence, it wasn’t the alleged nuisance of getting a FISA warrant that two of the hijackers weren’t snapped up ( Bush had to be thinking of , Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar) Regular government intelligence activities, legal as far as we know had provided the government information on the these two cretins at least a year before the 9-11. As contained in the 9-11 Commission report, bureaucracy and the FBI’s failure to share and effectively analyze intelligence is what kept them from being stopped.

This is what the good old MSM has described as “vigorous” defense of warrantless domestic surveillance. This begs the question of some “journalists” at least, do they learn how to be analytical and subjective or is the curriculum more oriented toward knowing the best makeup for studio light.

“So, to prevent another attack — based on authority given to me by the Constitution and by statute — I have authorized a terrorist surveillance program to aggressively pursue the international communications of suspected Al Qaeda operatives and affiliates to and from America.” – Bush

Bush has no new ideas, just new ways of twisting language and the law. Not a good quality in a man and tiresome for the first president of a new century. The all hat no cattle cowpoke must be losing his hearing, the legality of his so-called ” terrorist surveillance program” has been questioned by those Democrats that sill have a backbone, by some Republicans ( McCain, Hagel, Spector, Graham) and even some conservative legal scholars ( like Robert A. Levy ) From Levy:

Levy: The text of FISA §1809 is unambiguous: “A person is guilty of an offense if he intentionally engages in electronic surveillance … except as authorized by statute.” That provision covers communications from or to U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens in the United States. Moreover, Title III (the Wiretap Act) further provides that “procedures in this chapter and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 shall be the exclusive means by which electronic surveillance … may be conducted.”

– [I]n FISA §1811, Congress expressly contemplated warrantless wiretaps during wartime, and limited them to the first 15 days after war is declared.

What are good citizens to do when a president doesn’t acknowledge the facts of the issue or shrouds the issue in doublespeak. Bush can and should gather intelligence on those suspected of planning or helping to plan acts of terror. This president or the next should not place themselves above the laws which they take an oath to uphold. Spying on some US citizens may be called for, but when its done in such a way that does not follow FISA laws and the 4th Amendemnt then it is not overstatement to say that we as a nation have waded in hip deep into something approaching a police state

A police state is a totalitarian state regulated by secret police; the police exercise power on behalf of the executive and the conduct of the police cannot be effectively challenged. In such regimes there is no significant distinction between the law and the will of the executive; there is no rule of law.

America is 16th in the world in Broadband speed: $200 Billion Broadband Scandal

. By 2006, 86 million households should have been rewired with a fiber optic wire, capable of 45 Mbps, in both directions. — read the promises.
. The public subsidies for infrastructure were pocketed. The phone companies collected over $200 billion in higher phone rates and tax perks, about $2000 per household.
. The World is Laughing at US. Korea and Japan have 100 Mbps services as standard, and America could have been Number One had the phone companies actually delivered. Instead, we are 16th in broadband and falling in technology dominance.

The daily mantra as told daily by conservatives as they kneel before a giant poster of the $100 bill and relayed through our cable company monopoly is that if we deregulate, if we give them huge tax breaks, give them huge loop holes for the rest of those taxes, and deregulate rates, consumers will have untold goodness rain down upon our nieve little heads. So much for fairetales.

Bush’s Goals on Energy Quickly Find Obstacles

“If the United States was zero-dependent on Middle Eastern oil, but the rest of our allies among consuming nations were just as dependent, then a disruption anywhere is a price increase everywhere,” said Lawrence Goldstein, the president of the Petroleum Industry Research Foundation, a policy analysis group in New York.

Of course the issue is not just price, its also availability, alternatives, the infastructure for alternatives, and global warming. Sooner or later the oil that is available will be so difficult and costly to extract the US and the world will have no choice but to find alternatives. To see the problem and all that is entangled with it would require a leader with vision, a quality not associated with the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave…..Administration backs off Bush’s vow to reduce Mideast oil imports

One day after President Bush vowed to reduce America’s dependence on Middle East oil by cutting imports from there 75 percent by 2025, his energy secretary and national economic adviser said Wednesday that the president didn’t mean it literally.

We all know by now that the prez’s narrative is open to translation even though many of his supporters swear that he says what he means and means what he says.

History of the tarantella

The bite of the tarantula was thought to be potentially fatal. Each summer, moreover, it was liable to re-awaken and the same tarantati would again be called to dance beyond exhaustion.

Everyone enjoys a good dance after a spider bite.

DURING the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country ; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher. I know not how it was – but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit. I say insufferable ; for the feeling was unrelieved by any of that half-pleasurable, because poetic, sentiment, with which the mind usually receives even the sternest natural images of the desolate or terrible. I looked upon the scene before me – upon the mere house, and the simple landscape features of the domain – upon the bleak walls – upon the vacant eye-like windows – upon a few rank sedges – and upon a few white trunks of decayed trees – with an utter depression of soul which I can compare to no earthly sensation more properly than to the after-dream of the reveller upon opium – the bitter lapse into everyday life – the hideous dropping off of the veil. There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart – an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime. What was it – I paused to think – what was it that so unnerved me in the contemplation of the House of Usher ? It was a mystery all insoluble ; nor could I grapple with the shadowy fancies that crowded upon me as I pondered. I was forced to fall back upon the unsatisfactory conclusion, that while, beyond doubt, there are combinations of very simple natural objects which have the power of thus affecting us, still the analysis of this power lies among considerations beyond our depth. It was possible, I reflected, that a mere different arrangement of the particulars of the scene, of the details of the picture, would be sufficient to modify, or perhaps to annihilate its capacity for sorrowful impression ; and, acting upon this idea, I reined my horse to the precipitous brink of a black and lurid tarn that lay in unruffled lustre by the dwelling, and gazed down – but with a shudder even more thrilling than before – upon the remodelled and inverted images of the gray sedge, and the ghastly tree-stems, and the vacant and eye-like windows.

from The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe