Can you say 'wishy-washy?'

For those of you living outside the Triangle, I sure hope you have a better newspaper than N&O . . . especially if you expect editorial boards to have clear opinions that are well-articulated. Because here in Raleighwood, Steve Ford and the N&O have given new meaning to the term 'wishy-washy.'

In today's useless editorial, the N&O can't quite bring itself to have an opinion about Bush's gross abuse of power in wiretapping American citizens.

Stirring criticism is the fact that the eavesdropping has taken place without warrants issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, set up to handle such cases in secret. Since 2002, the NSA reportedly has monitored the international phone calls, faxes and e-mails of around 500 U.S. citizens or residents without seeking the warrants. That's curious, both because requests for warrants can be made for 72 hours after the monitoring has occurred and because the court rarely denies a request.

Bush administration officials assert that the warrantless spying is necessary to interrupt terrorist plotting. The legal basis for it, Bush says, was the 2001 congressional resolution authorizing him to use "all necessary force." Eavesdropping on Americans doesn't readily fit that definition.

"Curious"? Sheesh. Ya think so?

The editorial goes on to say that the proper place for this issue to be resolved is in the courts. Fair enough. But why not make the point that the egregious wiretapping practice should be abandoned in the meantime? Why not bother to have an opinion that personal liberty and privacy should have a presumptive priority over Dear Leader's latest assertion of power?

Why indeed? Because we're all supposed to be afraid . . .

Still, it's easy for a comfortable people to lose sight of the fact that the Islamic radicals of al-Qaeda have declared a holy war on this nation. And terrorists do their best work while we sleep.

I don't know about you, but I'm sick and tired of this kind of paranoid chickenshit. Bush, Steve Ford, et. al., seem to think we'd all be better off if we just realized how afraid we're supposed to be. Fuck being afraid. If the bad guys want to terrorize us, they will . . . and no amount of wiretapping will stop it. There are too many of them -- and we're making more every day in Iraq -- and they are too hell-bent on creating havoc for us to stop every one of them.

I'd rather see the Bush-Ford regime focused on the root cause by restoring respect for America throughout the world. That means apologizing for our imperial arrogance. That means helping the people we've screwed and abused for decades. That means become responsible stewards around energy and environmental issues.

But no. That's too complicated. It's way easier to whine about the big-bad terrorists. It's way easier to stoke fear. It's way easier to take a pass when it comes to taking a stand.

Get another job, Steve. You're wasting paper.


The News and Observer's Timidity

Ford and his cronies at the N and O are very afraid of being called "liberals" by the reactionary right here in town.

I guess I'd have to conclude

that they SHOULD be afraid . . . not because of the reactionary right . . . but because they are no longer a progressive paper. Sad but true.

Vote with your dollars

I have given up the N&O entirely, even online. No more page visits, no more delivery, no more $$$.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Good advice.

Wife permitting, I'll vote with my dollars too . . . though their editorial pages are rich with fodder for all sorts of blogging angles.