Opinion Archives

Bridges at risk while govt argues over money

After the recent bridge collapse there’s been a lot of news about bridges all over the country.  It’s been coming to light the seriously deteriorated condition of many of them.  Obviously, something needs to be done about the situation, preferably before another one collapses and kills more people.


President Bush told a White House news conference that Congress should not raise the
gas tax to pay for repairing the nation’s bridges until lawmakers have come to grips
with spending on pet projects.

But do we get any kind of action from Congress or the White House toward getting some repairs done?  No. What we get is a fresh round of infighting about who is going to spend what money to pay for it.  Meanwhile aging structures continue to age and people continue to drive on them every day.

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Warrantless Searches?  No!

If you watched “The Power of 10” tonight then you heard this poll question:

“What percentage of people think police should be able to search your home or car if they think illegal drugs are involved?”

My immediate answer was “The answer *SHOULD* be zero.  This whole “lets not bother with a warrant” thing that’s currently infecting assorted government agencies is something that needs to be stomped flat quickly.

The requirement for a warrant is there for a good reason.  It’s to insure that law enforcement agencies (of whatever flavor from local police to the FBI or the NSA) actually has to show probable cause and convince a judge to issue a warrant and then that warrant needs to specify just what is being searched for and what is to be searched.

Without warrants, Law Enforcement Agencies get to just bull their way in, search anything and any one they want without even having to convince somebody that they have some kind of good reason to do so.  This means presenting some kind of evidence and then specifying where they want to search and what they’re looking for.

And by the way, this applies to whether it’s a physical location or person or electronic searches such as examining somebody’s hard drive or intercepting their email.

I think that we need to make our voices heard and let our elected officials know that warrantless ANYTHING is unacceptable.

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House hands president warrantless wiretap victory

Well, He wanted it and today the House joined the senate and passed the expansion of the warrantless wiretapping powers.  Of course, it’s not a total White House victory because they did manage to limit how long the thing will be effective.  Unless Congress renews it, it will expire in six months.  In my opinion, that expiration date is not soon enough by several years.


The House has handed President Bush a victory, voting to expand the government’s
abilities to eavesdrop without warrants on foreign suspects whose communications pass
through the U.S. Mr. Bush asked Congress to stay in session until it was passed.

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Warantless Wiretap Powers Expanded

Well folks, I hope you’re all hanging on to your privacy tightly because it looks like another chunk of it is going into the political toilet.  I just saw an MSNBC breaking news report bearing the one-liner:

House joins Senate in expanding warrantless wiretap power

If anything, powers like this should be RESTRICTED severely.  I know, the big argument is that this is all in the name of national security but you know something?  I think that even national security needs to be examined very carefully, especially when it starts walking on privacy without even so much as little constitutional details like search warrants.

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WOW! An Ethics Bill passes!

So this new ethics bill has passed the senate and is on it’s way for the president’s signature.  Which I don’t doubt it will get.


The Senate voted to make lawmakers disclose more about their efforts to fund pet
projects and raise money from lobbyists. Some say the bill, which now goes to
President Bush, could be the biggest advance in congressional ethics in decades.

However I can’t help wondering just exactly how much this bill has in the way of meaningful reform and what enforcement provisions are built into it?

“Never trust a body that can vote it’s own raises without allowing the public a say in whether they get them or not and if so, how much.”

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