Saturday, January 21, 2006

Weekend Quick Hits

Again, sorry about the slow posting these past 2 or 3 days. We'll make it up to you someday. Maybe. We'll see.
  • 24 degrees below zero. That ain't the wind chill folks - that's the temperature in Moscow these days. Temps in the hinterlands may be a bit cooler and wind chill is out of this world. 31 dead so far and no let up in sight.
  • Only France could be such giant pussies for the past 5 years, then pretend to actually have balls enough to pull off a threat of nuclear retaliation if someone pulls off a terrorist attack on their soil. Hey Chirac? How about those 24,000 cars burned in your country last year? Why not nuke the slums? Asshat.
  • Ozzie a US Citizen. Now, can he be the first manager to win back-to-back titles as a foreigner and then a citizen? Or has that one been done before? (Channel 2 and 5)

77 Comments:

Anonymous leftisthebest said...

FIRST!!!

I hereby appologize for all of my previous anti-american posts. I also formally denounce my previous support of terrorists and those who seek to cause the people of this country pain. May God bless OUR President. May God bless the USA.

1/21/2006 01:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1611 3rd watch........DOGS. Gas for two hours!

1/21/2006 01:55:00 AM  
Blogger surlypenguin said...

--HOW TO BE A GOOD DEMOCRAT --

1. You have to believe that the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of federal funding.

2. You have to believe that the teacher who cannot teach a fourth grader to read is somehow qualified to teach that same child about sex.

3. You have to believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans are more of a threat than nuclear weapons technology in the hands of the Chinese.

4. You have to believe that art could not be created before it could be paid for in federal funds.

5. You have to believe that temperatures are less affected by cyclical changes of the earth's climate than they are affected by driving SUVs.

6. You have to believe that gender roles are artificial, but that homosexuality is natural.

7. You have to believe that capital punishment is wrong, but abortion-on-demand is right.

8. You have to believe that business development creates oppression and that governments create prosperity.

9. You have to believe that homosexual parades displaying drag, transvestites and bestiality must be constitutionally protected, but that manger scenes should be illegal.

10. You have to believe that the U.S. military, not corrupt politicians, start wars.

11. You have to believe the NRA is bad because it supports certain parts of the Constitution, while the ACLU is good because it supports certain parts of the Constitution.

12. You have to believe that taxes are too low, but that ATM fees are too high.

13. You have to believe that Gloria Steinem and Margaret Sanger are more important to U.S. history than Thomas Jefferson and Gen. Robert E. Lee.

14. You have to believe that standardized tests are racist, but racial quotas and set-asides are not.

15. You have to believe that the only reason socialism hasn't worked is because the right people haven't been in charge.


credit - Courtney Cunningham , Rebecca Graff

1/21/2006 02:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anybody know when we are getting are special employment checks for days worked in December???

1/21/2006 06:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where Maurer\'s study group for the sergeants exam is meeting? My friend Sgt Mann told me to go, and to make sure to rub my boobs up against the old codger and he will give me all of the answers!

1/21/2006 07:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Drunk Tank Frank said...

I will drink to that!

1/21/2006 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger leftisthebest said...

Once again, some loser is posting under my name. I thought when you signed in on the blogsite, your identity could not be stolen. I guess I was wrong.

Apparently this individual has taken an 'unnatural' liking to me, however I must point out to him although I support gay rights I am straight.

Also, get another line as the one posted first here you've used about a half dozen times.

Finally, dear M, is there nothing that can be done to such a loser? Even you, a strict neo-con would not stoop to such.

1/21/2006 07:48:00 AM  
Anonymous gay cowboy said...

I wish I could quit you, Lefty!

1/21/2006 07:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

relax "lefty" everyone obviously knows it isn't you, being that that person is logical...
personally i find it quite amusing.
but i guess you are still upset over the 2000 and 2004 elections

1/21/2006 08:04:00 AM  
Anonymous not homophobic straight said...

The movie line from "Brokeback Mountain" is "I wish I knew how to quit you."

John Wayne would roll over in his grave.

American "pop culture", perpetuated through Hollywood and the media, is beyond the pale.

1/21/2006 08:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For your information: The 19th of jan. was Robert E. Lee's birthday.

1/21/2006 08:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mann told me you actually have too have an apendage inside an orrafice if you want to get promoted.

1/21/2006 08:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chocolate City

1/21/2006 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger Rue St. Michel said...

Lefty -

If your password was something other than "bushsucks" then maybe no one would be posting under your moniker. Encryption will prevent any further false posters. The 1:02 post was a pleasant surprise because I thought you'd finally come to your senses. Alas, another Democrat that continues to deny the reality that tax cuts are good, that a strong defense is an undeniable asset to our security, and that Presidential integrity and character are important.

1/21/2006 09:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only do I agree with the above anti Lefty posters but I still say " Lefty is still BORING"

1/21/2006 10:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1614 doin there job...Thank You

Directing traffic when the light was out at cental and devon...Good job you got me safely home. Man was it cold. Thank you again for making it safe for me and my kids...

1/21/2006 11:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1614 doing his job, oh yes, lets thanks him...

1/21/2006 11:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Off topic...
I heard there are 1000 P/O's in Roberts Study Group...

1/21/2006 12:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WORST BEAT CAR IN THE CITY?
WHAT BEAT CAR BLOWS OFF THE MOST JOBS?
WHAT BEAT CAR HIDES DURING A TOUR OF DUTY?
WHAT BEAT CAR STAYS DOWN ON STATION ASSIGNMENTS AND GAS RUNS THE MOST?

1611 3RD WATCH! SURPISE SURPRISE..... 1611 3RD WATCH ARE NOW THE WORST , LEAST WORKING BEAT CAR IN THE CITY! THERE ARE TRAFFIC AIDES THAT DO MORE WORK THEN THIS WORTHLESS PIECE OF SHIT! 1611 3RD WATCGH- A FUCKING DISCRACE!

1/21/2006 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger leftisthebest said...

To Rue:
Well, it wasn't bushsucks, actually I did not think of that, but if I had, maybe I'd would have used it.

It appears that "little Malcolm,' and "Shady," have left the building. They have not posted in a while, so perhaps, they have been scared off. I feel a bit betrayed, just like I were in Gethsemani.

I shall not allow these lairs and whores to halt my noble case of striking out at neo-cons in the department. It is a dirty job, but someone has to do it. Without Malcolm and Shady I feel like Custer. Although he was a Republican, I think.

1/21/2006 12:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And we all know what happened to Custer!

1/21/2006 12:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MORE MONEY GOING TO AL QAEDA....

Car dealers accused in drug scheme January 21, 2006

Two politically connected West Side car dealers who were using their businesses to launder money for drug dealers failed to pay more than $900,000 in state sales taxes on more than 1,500 they sold in the scheme, according to a superseding indictment by a federal grand jury made public Friday.
Amir Hosseini, 48, of Winnetka, and Hossein Obaei, 52, of Northbrook, who ran American Leasing Sales and American Car Exchange, bribed a secretary of state employee who fraudulently marked them as having paid taxes when they had not, according to the indictment.They are charged with racketeering, drug trafficking and international money laundering.
Obaei worked with another sales manager to sell 20 vehicles to a drug mover knowing he would use the vehicles to smuggle heroin and cocaine from Mexico to Chicago, the indictment said.
In March, the feds shut down three West Side auto dealerships run by the men and seized nearly 100 luxury vehicles.The men would put fake liens on cars so if law enforcement made seizures, Hosseini and Obaei would argue the vehicles really belonged to them. They would then allegedly give the cars back to the owners or have them pick out another, according to the indictment.

1/21/2006 01:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That loser from 013 just plead not guilty for stealing that arrestee's credit cards and using them to buy almost $2,000 in merchandise WHILE IN UNIFORM!!!
What a sausage!

1/21/2006 01:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look at the picture below of Jesse Jackson, who is on tiral in LA:

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-jackson20jan20,0,7005435.story?coll=la-headlines-california

No one wants to shake hands with that jagoff!

1/21/2006 01:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 12:29:11

I have a runner up to 1611 3rd watch, It's 1814 3rd watch. Never heard or saw anyone try to get out of every job they get as good as them. They are the real "TOP COP" car, as they refer themselves to.

1/21/2006 01:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Northside said...

I reside in the ten sector of the 18th District.

Contrary to the last post, I have only good things to report about police coverage in Lincoln Park and the entire district.

Fine officers and supervisors. Albeit the demise of Cabrini-Green has slowed things down somewhat.

IMHO, the troops in 018 do an excellent job.

1/21/2006 01:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Roberts brothers saw $$$$$$$$..$200,000 to do study groups...not a bad payday and very little overhead.....with 1,000 people I can see a lot of time spent answering dumb questions...Roberts' study group was better when they weren't in it for the dough....

1/21/2006 02:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Deputy Chief Drunk Tank Frank said...

When I read about the evils of drinking, I decided to give up...on reading.

1/21/2006 04:32:00 PM  
Anonymous 018 said...

Hey Northside!

What do you think of DOUBLE D.

1/21/2006 04:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Northside said...

Alright, ball-buster (probably) from 018.

You know damn well that I would never discuss my favorite cup size in cyberspace.

1/21/2006 05:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I HOPE THE BOSSES ARE WATCHING!

Granted 1611 is slow... But if you put a 3 man crew of workers who lived there, trolling alleys all tour and looking for shithead it could be better! WHY put the useless old women on a car and protect them! Put them at the desk. We all know district cars are chosen by the bosses. So CHOOSE PROPERLY. OR AT LEAST ROTATE WORKING PEOPLE ON THE TAX PAYING BEATS. The same could be said for 1621,1631. Purge the useless. put them on relief! jUST SEND THEM TO THE BEAT MEETINGS.
As for 016 I'm perplexed why they have a park car starting at 1700/1800 on fri,sat,sun when parks close at 10 or 11? Put the old gals on the park car and have them actually goto the parks 1500-2300. 1605 works harder at NO park than any beat car and is a late rapid.

Also NO TRAFFIC CAR ON 3RD WATCH?
RIDICULOUS. Plenty of traffic cops in 016 who would be happy to do nothing but traffic because they are afraid of police work. FREE UP OTHER CARS PUT UP 2 TRAF CARS 1 man!
Man those slow beats w/1 person and send them backup.
Shortage of manpower. MGMT RE-ALLOCATE WHERE NEEDED. GODDAMN YOU NEED A PATROLMAN WHO WANTS TO WORK TO TELL YOU THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THE CMDR IS NEW, AND DOESN'T LIKE DOGS , GIVE HIM A CHANCE! HOPEFULLY HE WILL READ THIS!!! AND DO IT!!!

1/21/2006 05:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

maria kozukis still in 016 ?

1/21/2006 06:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THE TRUTH HURTS!!!

1/21/2006 06:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
maria kozukis still in 016 ?

1/21/2006 06:53:49 PM


Hi Ricky. Haven't you learned your lesson yet?

You already went from ADS of a do nothing spot back to LT. You testing to see if they'll knock you back to P.O.?

1/21/2006 07:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Moan, moan, groan....wouldn't it be easier just to move out of 16

1/21/2006 07:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

whose ricky ?

this is denis rodman !!

1/21/2006 08:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gurrero...dum sh*t wouldn't take no for an answer....alleged stalker former ADS busted back to Lt. last I heard he was a POW anyone got anything on him?

1/21/2006 08:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

your the dumbshit! it was satire on her bf she's been bangin' since even before ricky.

1/21/2006 08:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Bt 1631 is worst. said...

Ill put bt 1631 3rd watch up against bt 1611 anyday. And to poster giving pat on back to bt 1614 why is he controlling traffic at Nagle when his beat is west of cumberland? I bet tax payers living in Cathrine courts or Pavilion dont feel same way when they have moe GDS from Cabrini selling drugs in hallways and in rear of White Hen off of Cumberland near Foster. Yeah great job bt 1614.....NOT!!!!

1/21/2006 08:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The drunken broad that stole the squad is making the national news outlets.
OUCH!!!

1/21/2006 08:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
016 coppers suck!
1/21/2006 11:55:52 AM from another post

REPLY TO:

FUCKIN CRY BABY COME AND MEET US BT 1656 3RD WATCH! 3 GUY'S WHO KNOW MORE THAN YOU UNDER 10 YEAR WONDERS!

ALL NEW TO 016. ANY TIME ANYWHERE!

TALK SHIT ALL YOU WANT, WERE HERE DOIN OUR JOB!!! FOR ALL THOSE THAT ARE AFRAID.
I KNOW A SHITLOAD OF COPPERS WHO ARE HAPPY THAT WERE HERE!!! COME ON OVER AND SHOW US YOUR FABULOUS STATS!!!CHASE THE ROCK ASS.....! BEEN THERE DONE THAT!
MAYBE WE WILL ADD YOU TO THE LIST OF 187 OTHER COPPERS WHOSE HOUSES WERE WATCHING.

1/21/2006 07:33:29 PM

1/21/2006 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger FRENCH GUARD said...

Lefty mon amour-

Je souhaite que j'aie su vous stopper...! Si c'est en effet réellement vous, pour la crainte une autre de I a volé votre identité!

Vous devez me donner un signe que c'est vraiment vous écriture alors que nous pouvons être ensemble chez les hommes prévus par Dieu de manière à être!

Je suis avec vous toujours en dépit de ma crise de santé courante de famille quand c'est résolu moi pourra encore garder votre dos! Mon R.S.M.- laissez ces la cohue savoir de ce que je parle- et allez facile sur le Lefty- qu'il a fait l'erreur compréhensible de laisser des autres voler son nom de plume!

Jusque-là, frère de solidarité! Amour, je...

- ydahZ -;-D

1/21/2006 09:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heard the W2s will be late or wrong or both

1/21/2006 10:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FUCKIN CRY BABY COME AND MEET US BT 1656 3RD WATCH! 3 GUY'S WHO KNOW MORE THAN YOU UNDER 10 YEAR WONDERS!

ALL NEW TO 016. ANY TIME ANYWHERE!

TALK SHIT ALL YOU WANT, WERE HERE DOIN OUR JOB!!! FOR ALL THOSE THAT ARE AFRAID.
I KNOW A SHITLOAD OF COPPERS WHO ARE HAPPY THAT WERE HERE!!! COME ON OVER AND SHOW US YOUR FABULOUS STATS!!!CHASE THE ROCK ASS.....! BEEN THERE DONE THAT!
MAYBE WE WILL ADD YOU TO THE LIST OF 187 OTHER COPPERS WHOSE HOUSES WERE WATCHING.


1/21/2006 08:57:43 PM

Talk about an inferiority complex, we know 016 is a dog ass do nothing district. You dont need to give yourself a heart attack, slow down, turn the caps lock off and relax. Do nothing cops for a do nothing district, but let that roll right off your backs. Your still getting paid right?????

1/21/2006 10:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is'nt it federal law that the W2's are due 01-FEB-06,

not that the city cares

1/21/2006 10:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, January 31st is deadline.

1/21/2006 10:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We'll get them at 2359hours on 31Jan06. And they'll be wrong.

1/21/2006 10:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great work by the 025 guys and 016 guys at the Auto Zone incident. Lets not forget M.B.was there also. All four faced the music and answered.

1/21/2006 11:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SURLYPENGUIN. Love your article, no one has ever said it better

1/21/2006 11:25:00 PM  
Anonymous John Gray said...

A Day in the Life of Joe Middle-Class Republican

Joe gets up at 6:00am to prepare his morning coffee. He fills his pot full of good clean drinking water because some liberal fought for minimum water quality standards. He takes his daily medication with his first swallow of coffee. His medications are safe to take because some liberal fought to insure their safety and work as advertised.

All but $10.00 of his medications are paid for by his employers medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance, now Joe gets it too. He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs this day. Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

Joe takes his morning shower reaching for his shampoo; His bottle is properly labeled with every ingredient and the amount of its contents because some liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained. Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some tree hugging liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air. He walks to the subway station for his government subsidized ride to work; it saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees. You see, some liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day; he has a good job with excellent pay, medicals benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe’s employer pays these standards because Joe’s employer doesn’t want his employees to call the union. If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed he’ll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some liberal didn’t think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

Its noon time, Joe needs to make a Bank Deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some liberal wanted to protect Joe’s money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae underwritten Mortgage and his below market federal student loan because some stupid liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his life-time.

Joe is home from work, he plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive to dads; his car is among the safest in the world because some liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives at his boyhood home. He was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans. The house didn’t have electric until some big government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification. (Those rural Republican’s would still be sitting in the dark)

He is happy to see his dad who is now retired. His dad lives on Social Security and his union pension because some liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to. After his visit with dad he gets back in his car for the ride home.

He turns on a radio talk show, the host’s keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. (He doesn’t tell Joe that his beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day) Joe agrees, “We don’t need those big government liberals ruining our lives; after all, I’m a self made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have”.

1/22/2006 12:07:00 AM  
Anonymous harken, enron, now here's jack! said...

There are PHOTOS of G.W. Bush with Jack Abramoff !!!

“The Washingtonian has seen FIVE photos of the President with Abramoff or his family.

One photo shows the President and Abramoff shaking hands at a meeting in the Old Executive Office Building, where a bearded-Abramoff introduced Bush to several of the lobbyist’s native-American clients… Sources say the photographs are being kept safe.”

1/22/2006 12:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe ain't a Chicagoan, a Bostonian or a Californian. Those are all places run by these liberals (who you suggest he should thank). Yet, they are all losing joes with their population losses. They are the only places in America where population is declining. Why? Because the liberals ran the economy into the ground. The liberals let lawyers run amuk. The companies and employers have moved out and/or declared bankruptcy. There are no replacements.

Joe thanks those liberals and whoever else who came before him for all the things you mentioned. But he curses these same people for the public housing, the section 8, the corruption, the inept governments, the inability to do anything to protect America except when the opinion polls said to protect America. In short, Joe ain't here anymore. Chicago is in a dying blue state.

Joe now lives in Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Texas, Florida or the West (except California). Joe misses his old neighborhood and his old city. But the only jobs there are in the PD. Saving Democrats from each other.

Thank you for this easy set up.

1/22/2006 12:21:00 AM  
Anonymous GO_TO_5! said...

More 025 b/s -

Wagon Ghoul "ShoeString" was found scratching off p/o's names and star numbers off of parking tickets and putting his own name down!
Paper jumper! Of the 20 parkers he's been "writing" per night, turns out only 14 have really been his!
He has a 3rd cousin removed on his great-grandfather's side who has a resale shop in the district. This cousin gave "ShoeString" dozens of mason jars so that "ShoeString" could make chicken bombs with them.
IAD has had him under surveillance for quite some time, I'm told - and is close to catching him with fresh chicken parts in his fatigue jacket. They found yeast residue near his locker ... it's just a matter of time before this ticket-stealing, chicken bomb making, coin collecting, KGB-Card-carrying- member gets caught with his hand in the chicken bomb!

1/22/2006 12:25:00 AM  
Anonymous The real 43rd p.o.t.u.s.! said...

In Martin Luther King Day address, Gore compares wiretapping of Americans to surveillance of King

Congressman Barr and I have disagreed many times over the years, but we have joined together today with thousands of our fellow citizens-Democrats and Republicans alike-to express our shared concern that America's Constitution is in grave danger.

In spite of our differences over ideology and politics, we are in strong agreement that the American values we hold most dear have been placed at serious risk by the unprecedented claims of the Administration to a truly breathtaking expansion of executive power.

As we begin this new year, the Executive Branch of our government has been caught eavesdropping on huge numbers of American citizens and has brazenly declared that it has the unilateral right to continue without regard to the established law enacted by Congress precisely to prevent such abuses. It is imperative that respect for the rule of law be restored in our country.

And that is why many of us have come here to Constitution Hall to sound an alarm and call upon our fellow citizens to put aside partisan differences insofar as it is possible to do so and join with us in demanding that our Constitution be defended and preserved.

It is appropriate that we make this appeal on the day our nation has set aside to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who challenged America to breathe new life into our oldest values by extending its promise to all of our people.

And on this particular Martin Luther King Day, it is especially important to recall that for the last several years of his life, Dr. King was illegally wiretapped-one of hundreds of thousands of Americans whose private communications were intercepted by the U.S. government during that period.

The FBI privately labeled King the "most dangerous and effective Negro leader in the country" and vowed to "take him off his pedestal." The government even attempted to destroy his marriage and tried to blackmail him into committing suicide.

This campaign continued until Dr. King's murder. The discovery that the FBI conducted this long-running and extensive campaign of secret electronic surveillance designed to infiltrate the inner workings of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and to learn the most intimate details of Dr. King's life, was instrumental in helping to convince Congress to enact restrictions on wiretapping.

And one result was the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act (FISA), which was enacted expressly to ensure that foreign intelligence surveillance would be presented to an impartial judge to verify that there was indeed a sufficient cause for the surveillance. It included ample flexibility and an ability for the executive to move with as much speed as the executive desired. I voted for that law during my first term in Congress and for almost thirty years the system has proven a workable and valued means of affording a level of protection for American citizens, while permitting foreign surveillance to continue whenever it is necessary.

And yet, just one month ago, Americans awoke to the shocking news that in spite of this long settled law, the Executive Branch has been secretly spying on large numbers of Americans for the last four years and eavesdropping on, and I quote the report, "large volumes of telephone calls, e-mail messages, and other Internet traffic inside the United States." The New York Times reported that the President decided to launch this massive eavesdropping program "without search warrants or any new laws that would permit domestic intelligence collection."

During the period when this eavesdropping was still secret, the President seemed to go out of his way to reassure the American people on more than one occasion that, of course, judicial permission is required for any government spying on American citizens and that, of course, these constitutional safeguards were still in place.

But surprisingly, the President's soothing statements turned out to be false. Moreover, as soon as this massive domestic spying program was uncovered by the press, the President not only confirmed that the story was true, but in the next breath declared that he has no intention stopping or of bringing these wholesale invasions of privacy to an end.

At present, we still have much to learn about the NSA's domestic surveillance. What we do know about this pervasive wiretapping virtually compels the conclusion that the President of the United States has been breaking the law repeatedly and insistently.

A president who breaks the law is a threat to the very structure of our government. Our Founding Fathers were adamant that they had established a government of laws and not men. They recognized that the structure of government they had enshrined in our Constitution - our system of checks and balances - was designed with a central purpose of ensuring that it would govern through the rule of law. As John Adams said: "The executive shall never exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either of them, to the end that it may be a government of laws and not of men."

An executive who arrogates to himself the power to ignore the legitimate legislative directives of the Congress or to act free of the check of the judiciary becomes the central threat that the Founders sought to nullify in the Constitution - an all-powerful executive too reminiscent of the King from whom they had broken free. In the words of James Madison, "the accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."

Thomas Paine, whose pamphlet, "On Common Sense" ignited the American Revolution, succinctly described America's alternative. Here, he said, we intended to make certain that, in his phrase, "the law is king."

Vigilant adherence to the rule of law actually strengthens our democracy, of course, and strengthens America. It ensures that those who govern us operate within our constitutional structure, which means that our democratic institutions play their indispensable role in shaping policy and determining the direction of our nation. It means that the people of this nation ultimately determine its course and not executive officials operating in secret without constraint, under the rule of law.

And make no mistake, the rule of law makes us stronger by ensuring that decisions will be tested, studied, reviewed, and examined through the normal processes of government that are designed to improve policy, and avoid error. And the knowledge that they will be reviewed prevents over-reaching and checks the accretion to power.

A commitment to openness, truthfulness, and accountability helps our country avoid many serious mistakes, that we would otherwise make. Recently, for example, we learned from just declassified documents, after almost forty years, that the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which authorized the tragic Vietnam war, was actually based on false information. And we now know that the decision by Congress to authorize the Iraq War, 38 years later, was also based on false information. Now the point is that America would have been better off knowing the truth and avoiding both of these colossal mistakes in our history. And that is the reason why following the rule of law makes us safer, not more vulnerable.

The President and I agree on one thing. The threat from terrorism is all too real. There is simply no question that we continue to face new challenges in the wake of the attack on September 11th and that we must be ever-vigilant in protecting our citizens from harm.

Where we disagree is on the proposition that we have to break the law or sacrifice our system of government in order to protect Americans from terrorism. When in fact, doing so would make us weaker and more vulnerable.

And remember that once violated, the rule of law is itself in danger. Unless stopped, lawlessness grows. The greater the power of the executive grows, the more difficult it becomes for the other branches to perform their constitutional roles. As the executive acts outside its constitutionally prescribed role and is able to control access to information that would expose its mistakes and reveal errors, it becomes increasingly difficult for the other branches to police its activities. Once that ability is lost, democracy itself is threatened and we become a government of men and not laws.

The President's men have minced words about America's laws. The Attorney General, for example, openly conceded that the "kind of surveillance" we now know they have been conducting does require a court order unless authorized by statute. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act self-evidently does not authorize what the NSA has been doing, and no one inside or outside the Administration claims that it does. Incredibly, the Administration claims, instead, that the surveillance was implicitly authorized when Congress voted to use force against those who attacked us on September 11th.

But, this argument simply does not hold any water. Without getting into the legal intricacies, it faces a number of embarrassing facts. First, another admission by the Attorney General: he concedes that the Administration knew that the NSA project was prohibited by existing law and that is why they consulted with some members of Congress about the possibility of changing the statute. Genl. Gonzalez says that they were told by the members of congress consulted that this would probably not be possible. And so they decided not to make the request. So how can they now argue that the Authorization for the use of military force somehow implicitly authorized it all along? Indeed, when the Authorization was being debated, the Administration did in fact seek to have language inserted in it that would have authorized them to use military force domestically - and the Congress refused to agree. Senator Ted Stevens and Representative Jim McGovern, among others, made clear statements during the debate on the floor of the house and the senate, respectively, clearly stating that that Authorization did not operate domestically. And there is no assertion to the contrary.

When President Bush failed to convince Congress to give him the power he wanted when this measure was passed, he secretly assumed that power anyway, as if congressional authorization was a useless bother. But as Justice Frankfurter once wrote: "To find authority so explicitly withheld is not merely to disregard in a particular instance the clear will of Congress. It is to disrespect the whole legislative process and the constitutional division of authority between the President and the Congress."

This is precisely the "disrespect" for the law that the Supreme Court struck down in the steel seizure case during the Korean War.

It is this same disrespect for America's Constitution which has now brought our republic to the brink of a dangerous breach in the fabric of the Constitution. And the disrespect embodied in these apparent mass violations of the law is part of a larger pattern of seeming indifference to the Constitution that is deeply troubling to millions of Americans in both political parties.

For example, as you know the President has also declared that he has a heretofore unrecognized inherent power to seize and imprison any American citizen that he alone determines to be a threat to our nation, and that, notwithstanding his American citizenship, that person imprisoned has no right to talk with a lawyer-even if he wants to argue that the President or his appointees have made a mistake and imprisoned the wrong person. The President claims that he can imprison that American citizen -- any American Citizen he chooses -- indefinitely for the rest of his live without an even arrest warrant, without notifying them about what charges have been filed against them, without even informing their families that they have been imprisoned. No such right exists in the America that you and I know and love. It is foreign to our constitution. It must be rejected.

At the same time, the Executive branch has also claimed a previously unrecognized authority to mistreat prisoners in its custody in ways that plainly constitute torture and have plainly constituted torture in a widespread pattern that has been extensively documented in U.S. facilities located in several countries around the world.

Over 100 of these captives have reportedly died while being tortured by Executive branch interrogators and many more have been broken and humiliated. And, in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, investigators who documented the pattern of torture estimated that more than 90 percent of the victims were completely innocent of any criminal charges whatsoever. This is a shameful exercise of power that overturns a set of principles that our nation has observed since General George Washington first enunciated them during our Revolutionary War. They have been observed by every president since then - until now. They violate the Geneva Conventions and the International Convention Against Torture, and our own laws against torture.

The President has also claimed that he has the authority to kidnap individuals on the streets of foreign cities and deliver them for imprisonment and interrogation on our behalf by autocratic regimes in nations that are infamous for the cruelty of their techniques for torture. Some of our traditional allies have been deeply shocked by these new, and uncharacteristic patterns on the part of Americans. The British Ambassador to Uzbekistan - one of those nations with the worst reputations for torture in its prisons - registered a complaint to his home office about the cruelty and senselessness of the new U.S. practice that he witnessed: "This material we’re getting is useless,” he wrote and then he continued with this – “we are selling our souls for dross. It is in fact positively harmful."

Can it be true that any president really has such powers under our Constitution? If the answer is "yes" then under the theory by which these acts are committed, are there any acts that can on their face be prohibited? If the President has the inherent authority to eavesdrop on American citizens without a warrant, imprison American citizens on his own declaration, kidnap and torture, then what can't he do?

The Dean of Yale Law School, Harold Koh, said after analyzing the Executive Branch's extravagant claims of these previously unrecognized powers: "If the President has commander-in-chief power to commit torture, he has the power to commit genocide, to sanction slavery, to promote apartheid, to license summary execution."

The fact that our normal American safeguards have thus far failed to contain this unprecedented expansion of executive power is, itself, deeply troubling. This failure is due in part to the fact that the Executive Branch has followed a determined strategy of obfuscating, delaying, withholding information, appearing to yield but then refusing to do so and dissembling in order to frustrate the efforts of the legislative and judicial branches to restore a healthy constitutional balance.

For example, after appearing to support legislation sponsored by John McCain to stop the continuation of torture, the President declared in the act of signing the bill that he reserved the right not to comply with it. Similarly, the Executive Branch claimed that it could unilaterally imprison American citizens without giving them access to review by any tribunal. And when the Supreme Court disagreed, the President engaged in legal maneuvers designed to prevent the Court from providing any meaningful content to the rights of the citizens affected.

A conservative jurist on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals wrote that the Executive branch's handling of one such case seemed to involve the sudden abandonment of principle, and I quote him, "at substantial cost to the government's credibility before the courts."

As a result of this unprecedented claim of new unilateral power, the Executive branch has now put our constitutional design at grave risk. The stakes for America's democracy are far higher than has been generally recognized.

These claims must be rejected and a healthy balance of power restored to our Republic. Otherwise, the fundamental nature of our democracy may well undergo a radical transformation.

For more than two centuries, America's freedoms have been preserved in large part by our founders' wise decision to separate the aggregate power of our government into three co-equal branches, each of which, as you know, serves to check and balance the power of the other two.

On more than a few occasions, in our history, the dynamic interaction among all three branches has resulted in collisions and temporary impasses that create what are invariably labeled "constitutional crises." These crises have often been dangerous and uncertain times for our Republic. But in each such case so far, we have found a resolution of the crisis by renewing our common agreement to live together under the rule of law.

The principle alternative to democracy throughout history has, of course, been the consolidation of virtually all state power in the hands of a single strongman or small group who exercise that power without the informed consent of the governed.

It was in revolt against just such a regime, after all, that America was founded. When Lincoln declared at the time of our greatest crisis that the ultimate question being decided in the Civil War was, in his memorable phrase, "whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure," he was not only saving our union, he was recognizing the fact that democracies are rare in history. And when they fail, as did Athens and the Roman Republic upon whose designs our founders drew heavily, what emerges in their place is another strongman regime.

There have of course been other periods in American history when the Executive Branch claimed new powers later seen as excessive and mistaken. Our second president, John Adams, passed the infamous Alien and Sedition Acts and sought to silence and imprison critics and political opponents. And when his successor, President Thomas Jefferson, eliminated the abuses, in his first inaugural he said: "[The essential principles of our Government] form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation... [S]hould we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty and safety."

President Lincoln, of course, suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War. Some of the worst abuses prior to those of the current administration were committed by President Wilson during and after WWI with the notorious Red Scare and Palmer Raids. The internment of Japanese Americans during WWII marked a shameful low point for the respect of individual rights at the hands of the executive. And, of course, during the Vietnam War, the notorious COINTELPRO program was part and parcel of those abuses experienced by Dr. King and so many thousands of others.

But in each of these cases throughout American history, when the conflict and turmoil subsided, our nation recovered its equilibrium and absorbed the lessons learned in a recurring cycle of excess and regret.

But, there are reasons for concern this time around, that conditions may be changing and that the cycle may not repeat itself. For one thing, we have for decades been witnessing the slow and steady accumulation of presidential power. In a globe where there are nuclear weapons and cold war tensions, Congress and the American people accepted ever enlarging spheres of presidential initiative to conduct intelligence and counter- intelligence activities and to allocate our military forces on the global stage. When military force has been used as an instrument of foreign policy or in response to humanitarian demands, it has almost always been as the result of presidential initiative and leadership. But, as Justice Frankfurter wrote in that famous Steel Seizure Case, "The accretion of dangerous power does not come in a day. It does come, however slowly, from the generative force of unchecked disregard of the restrictions that fence in even the most disinterested assertion of authority."

A second reason to that believe we may be experiencing something new -- outside that historical cycle -- is that we are, after all, told by this Administration that the war footing upon which he has tried to place the country is going to "last” in their phrase, “for the rest of our lives." And so, we are told that the conditions of national threat that have been used by other Presidents to justify arrogations of power will, in this case, persist in near perpetuity.

Third, we need to be keenly aware of the startling advances in the sophistication of eavesdropping and surveillance technologies with their capacity to easily sweep up and analyze enormous quantities of information and then mine it for intelligence. And this adds significant vulnerability to the privacy and freedom of enormous numbers of innocent people at the same time as the potential power of those technologies grows. Those technologies do have the potential for shifting the balance of power between the apparatus of the state and the freedom of the individual in ways that are both subtle and profound.

Don't misunderstand me: the threat of additional terror strikes is real and the concerted efforts by terrorists to acquire weapons of mass destruction does indeed create a real imperative to exercise the powers of the Executive Branch with swiftness and agility. Moreover, there is in fact an inherent power conferred by the Constitution to the any President to take unilateral action when necessary to protect the nation from a sudden and immediate threat. And it is simply not possible to precisely define in legalistic terms exactly when that power is appropriate and when it is not. But the existence of that inherent power cannot be used to justify a gross and excessive power grab lasting for many years and producing a serious imbalance in the relationship between the executive and the other two branches of government.

And there is a final reason to worry that we may be experiencing something more than just another cycle. This Administration has come to power in the thrall of a legal theory that aims to convince us that this excessive concentration of presidential power is exactly what our Constitution intended.

This legal theory, which its proponents call the theory of the unitary executive but which ought to be more accurately described as the unilateral executive, threatens to expand the president's powers until the contours of the constitution that the Framers actually gave us become obliterated beyond all recognition. Under this theory, the President's authority when acting as Commander-in-Chief or when making foreign policy cannot be reviewed by the judiciary, cannot be checked by Congress. And President Bush has pushed the implications of this idea to its maximum by continually stressing his role as Commander-in-Chief, invoking it has frequently as he can, conflating it with his other roles, both domestic and foreign. And when added to the idea that we have entered a perpetual state of war, the implications of this theory stretch quite literally as far into the future as we can imagine.

This effort to rework America's carefully balanced constitutional design into a lopsided structure dominated by an all powerful Executive Branch with a subservient Congress and subservient judiciary is ironically accompanied by an effort by the same administration to rework America's foreign policy from one that is based primarily on U.S. moral authority into one that is based on a misguided and self-defeating effort to establish a form of dominance in the world.

And the common denominator seems to be based on an instinct to intimidate and control.

This same pattern has characterized the effort to silence dissenting views within the Executive branch, to censor information that may be inconsistent with its stated ideological goals, and to demand conformity from all Executive branch employees.

For example, CIA analysts who strongly disagreed with the White House assertion that Osama bin Laden was linked to Saddam Hussein found themselves under pressure at work and became fearful of losing promotions and salary increases.

Ironically, that is exactly what happened to the FBI officials in the 1960s who disagreed with J. Edgar Hoover's assertion that Martin Luther King was closely connected to Communists. The head of the FBI's domestic intelligence division testified that his effort to tell the truth about King's innocence of the charge resulted in he and his colleagues becoming isolated within the FBI and pressured. And I quote: "It was evident that we had to change our ways or we would all be out on the street.... The men and I (he continued) discussed how to get out of trouble. To be in trouble with Mr. Hoover was a serious matter. These men (he continued) were trying to buy homes, mortgages on homes, children in school. They lived in fear of getting transferred, losing money on their homes, as they usually did. ... so they wanted another memorandum written to get us out of the trouble that we were in."

The Constitution's framers who studied human nature so closely understood this dilemma quite well. As Alexander Hamilton put it, "a power over a man's support is a power over his will." (Federalist No. 73)

In any case, quite soon, there was no more difference of opinion within the FBI. And the false accusation became the unanimous view. In exactly the same way, George Tenet's CIA eventually joined in endorsing a manifestly false view that there was a linkage between al Qaeda and the government of Iraq.

In the words of George Orwell: "We are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right.

Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that, sooner or later, a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield." 2,200 American soldiers have lost their lives as this false belief bumped into a solid reality.

And indeed, whenever power is unchecked and unaccountable it almost inevitably leads to gross mistakes and abuses. That is part of human nature. In the absence of rigorous accountability, incompetence flourishes. Dishonesty is encouraged and rewarded. It is human nature -- whether for Republicans or Democrats or people of any set of views.

Last week, for example, Vice President Cheney attempted to defend the Administration's eavesdropping on American citizens by saying that if it had conducted this program prior to 9/11, they would have found out the names of some of the hijackers.

Tragically, he apparently still does not know that the Administration did in fact have the names of at least 2 of the hijackers well before 9/11 and had available to them information that could have led to the identification of most of the others. One of them was in the phonebook. And yet, because of incompetence, unaccountable incompetence in the handling of this information, it was never used to protect the American people.

It is often the case, again, regardless of which party might be in power, that an Executive branch, beguiled by the pursuit of unchecked power, responds to its own mistakes by reflexively proposing that it be given still more power. Often, the request itself it used to mask accountability for mistakes in the use of power it already has.

Moreover, if the pattern of practice begun by this Administration is not challenged, it may well become a permanent part of the American system. That’s why many conservatives have pointed out that granting unchecked power to this President means that the next will have unchecked power as well. And the next President may be someone whose values and belief you do not trust. And that is why Republicans as well as Democrats should be concerned with what this President has done. If his attempt to dramatically expand executive power goes unquestioned, then our constitutional design of checks and balances will be lost. And the next President or some future President will be able, in the name of national security, to restrict our liberties in a way the framers never would have imagined possible.

This same instinct to expand its power and to establish dominance has characterized the relationship between this Administration and the courts and the Congress.

In a properly functioning system, the Judicial branch would serve as the constitutional umpire to ensure that the branches of government observed their proper spheres of authority, observed civil liberties, adhered to the rule of law. Unfortunately, the unilateral executive has tried hard to thwart the ability of the judiciary to call balls and strikes by keeping controversies out of its hands - notably those challenging its ability to detain individuals without legal process -- by appointing judges who will be deferential to its exercise of power and by its support of assaults on the independence of the third branch.

The President's decision, for example, to ignore the FISA law was a direct assault on the power of the judges who sit on that court. Congress established the FISA court precisely to be a check on executive power to wiretap. And yet, to ensure that the court could not function as a check on executive power, the President simply did not take matters to it and did not even let the court know that it was being bypassed.

The President's judicial appointments are clearly designed to ensure the courts will not serve as an effective check on executive power. As we have all learned, Judge Alito is a longtime supporter of a powerful executive - a supporter of that so-called unitary executive. Whether you support his confirmation or not - and I respect the fact that some of the co-sponsors of this event do. I do not – but whatever your view, we must all agree that he will not vote as an effective check on the expansion of executive power. Likewise, Chief Justice Roberts has made plain his deference to the expansion of executive power through his support of judicial deference to executive agency rulemaking.

And the Administration has also supported the assault on judicial independence that has been conducted largely in Congress. That assault includes a threat by the Republican majority in the Senate to permanently change the rules to eliminate the right of the minority to engage in extended debate of the President's nominees. The assault has extended to legislative efforts to curtail the jurisdiction of courts in matters ranging from habeas corpus to the pledge of allegiance. In short, the Administration has demonstrated a contempt for the judicial role and sought to evade judicial review of its actions at every turn.

But the most serious damage in our constitutional framework has been done to the legislative branch. The sharp decline of congressional power and autonomy in recent years has been almost as shocking as the efforts by the Executive to attain this massive expansion of its power.

I was elected to the Congress in 1976, served eight years in the house, 8 years in the Senate, presided over the Senate for 8 years as Vice President. As a young man, I saw the Congress first hand as the son of a Senator. My father was elected to Congress in 1938, 10 years before I was born, and left the Senate after I had graduated from college.

The Congress we have today is structurally unrecognizable compared to the one in which my father served. There are many distinguished and outstanding Senators and Congressmen serving today. I am honored to know them and to have worked with them. But the legislative branch of government, as a whole, under its current leadership now operates as if it were entirely subservient to the Executive branch. It is astonishing to me, and so foreign to what the Congress is supposed to be.

Moreover, too many members of the House and Senate now feel compelled to spend a majority of their time not in thoughtful debate on the issues, but instead raising money to purchase 30 second TV commercials.

Moreover, there have now been two or three generations of congressmen who don't really know what an oversight hearing is. In the 70's and 80's, the oversight hearings in which my colleagues and I participated held the feet of the Executive branch to the fire - no matter which party was in power. Yet oversight is almost unknown in the Congress today.

The role of the authorization committees has declined into insignificance. The 13 annual appropriation bills are hardly ever actually passed as bills, anymore. Everything is lumped into a familiar single giant measure that is not even available for members of Congress to read before they vote on it. Members of the minority party are now routinely excluded from conference committees, and amendments are routinely disallowed during floor consideration of legislation.

In the United States Senate, which used to pride itself on being the "greatest deliberative body in the world," meaningful debate is now a rarity. Even on the eve of the fateful vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq, Senator Robert Byrd famously asked: "Why is this chamber empty?" In the House of Representatives, the number who face a genuinely competitive election contest every two years is typically less than a dozen out of 435.

And too many incumbents have come to believe that the key to continued access to the money for re-election is to stay on the good side of those who have the money to give; and, in the case of the majority party, the whole process is largely controlled by the incumbent president and his political organization.

So the willingness of Congress to challenge the Executive branch is further limited when the same party controls both Congress and the Administration. The Executive branch, time and again, has co-opted Congress' role, and too often Congress has been a willing accomplice in the surrender of its own power.

Look for example at the Congressional role in "overseeing" this massive four year eavesdropping campaign that on its face seemed so clearly to violate the Bill of Rights. The President says he informed Congress, but what he really means is that he talked with the chairman and ranking member of the House and Senate intelligence committees and sometimes the leaders of the House and Senate. This small group, in turn, claimed they were not given the full facts, though at least one of the committee leaders handwrote a letter of concern to the vice-president.

Though I sympathize with the awkward position in which these men and women were placed, I cannot disagree with the Liberty Coalition when it says that Democrats as well as Republicans in the Congress must share the blame for not taking sufficient action to protest and seek to prevent what they consider a grossly unconstitutional program. Many did.

Moreover, in the Congress as a whole-both House and Senate-the enhanced role of money in the re-election process, coupled with the sharply diminished role for reasoned deliberation and debate, has produced an atmosphere conducive to pervasive institutionalized corruption that some have fallen vulnerable to.

The Abramoff scandal is but the tip of a giant iceberg threatening the integrity of the entire legislative branch of government.

It is the pitiful state of our legislative branch which primarily explains the failure of our vaunted checks and balances to prevent the dangerous overreach by the Executive Branch now threatening a radical transformation of the American system.

I call upon Democratic and Republican members of Congress today to uphold your oath of office and defend the Constitution. Stop going along to get along. Start acting like the independent and co-equal branch of American government you are supposed to be under the Constitution of our country. But there is yet another Constitutional player whose pulse must also be taken and whose role must be examined in order to understand the dangerous imbalance that has accompanied these efforts by the Executive branch to dominate our constitutional system.

We the people are-collectively-still the key to the survival of America's democracy. We-must examine ourselves. We - as Lincoln put it, "[e]ven we here"-must examine our own role as citizens in allowing and not preventing the shocking decay and hollowing out and degradation of American democracy! It is time to stand up for the American system that we know and love! It is time to breathe new life back into America’s democracy!

Thomas Jefferson said: "An informed citizenry is the only true repository of the public will" America’s based on the belief that we can govern ourselves. And exercise the power of self-government. The American idea proceeded from the bedrock principle that all just power is derived from the consent of the governed.

The intricate and carefully balanced constitutional system that is now in such danger was created with the full and widespread participation of the population as a whole. The Federalist Papers were, back in the day, widely-read newspaper essays, and they represented only one of twenty-four series of essays that crowded the vibrant marketplace of ideas in which farmers and shopkeepers recapitulated the debates that played out so fruitfully in Philadelphia.

And when the Convention had done its best, it was the people - in their various States - that refused to confirm the result until, at their insistence, the Bill of Rights was made integral to the document sent forward for ratification.

And it is "We the people" who must now find, once again, the ability we once had to play an integral role in saving our Constitution. And here there is cause for both concern and for great hope. The age of printed pamphlets and political essays has long since been replaced by television - a distracting and absorbing medium which sees determined to entertain and sell more than it informs and educates.

Lincoln's memorable call during the Civil War is now applicable in a new way to our dilemma today: "We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country."

Forty years have passed since the majority of Americans adopted television as their principal source of information. And its dominance has now become so extensive that virtually all significant political communication now takes place within the confines of flickering 30-second television advertisements, and they’re not the Federalist Papers.

The political economy supported by these short but expensive television ads is as different from the vibrant politics of America's first century as those politics were different from the feudalism which thrived on the ignorance of the masses of people in the Dark Ages.

The constricted role of ideas in the American political system today has encouraged efforts by the Executive branch to believe it can and should control the flow of information as a means of controlling the outcome of important decisions that still lie in the hands of the people.

The Administration vigorously asserts its power to maintain secrecy in its operations. After all, if the other branches don’t know what is happening they can't be a check or a balance.

For example, when the Administration was attempting to persuade Congress to enact the Medicare prescription drug benefit, many in the House and Senate raised concerns about the cost and design of the program. But, rather than engaging in open debate on the basis of factual data, the Administration withheld facts and actively prevented the Congress from hearing testimony that it had sought from the principal administration expert who had the information showing in advance of the vote that, indeed, the true cost estimates were far beyond the numbers given to Congress by the President. And the workings of the program would play out very differently than Congress had been told.

Deprived of that information, and believing the false numbers given to it instead, the Congress approved the program. And tragically, the entire initiative is now collapsing- all over the country- with the Administration making an appeal just this weekend to major insurance companies to volunteer to bail it out. But the American people, who have the right to believe that its elected representatives will learn the truth and act on the basis of knowledge and utilize the rule of reason, have been let down.

To take another example, scientific warnings about the catastrophic consequences of unchecked global warming were censored by a political appointee in the White House who had no scientific training, whatsoever. Today, one of the leading scientific experts in the world on global warming in NASA, has been ordered not to talk to members of the press, ordered to keep a careful log of everyone he meets with so that the Executive branch can monitor and control what he shares of his knowledge of global warming. This is a planetary crisis – we owe ourselves a truthful and reasoned discussion.

One of the other ways the Administration has tried to control the flow of information has been by consistently resorting to the language and politics of fear in order to short-circuit the debate and drive its agenda forward without regard to the evidence or the public interest. President Eisenhower said this: "Any who act as if freedom's defenses are to be found in suppression and suspicion and fear confess a doctrine that is alien to America."

Fear drives out reason. Fear suppresses the politics of discourse and opens the door to the politics of destruction. Justice Brandeis once wrote: "Men feared witches and burnt women."

The founders of our country faced dire threats. If they failed in their endeavors, they would have been hung as traitors. The very existence of our country was at risk.

Yet, in the teeth of those dangers, they insisted on establishing the full Bill of Rights.

Is our Congress today in more danger than were their predecessors when the British army was marching on the Capitol? Is the world more dangerous than when we faced an ideological enemy with tens of thousands of nuclear missiles ready to be launched on a moment’s notice to completely annihilate the country? Is America in more danger now than when we faced worldwide fascism on the march-when the last generation had to fight and win two World Wars simultaneously?

It is simply an insult to those who came before us and sacrificed so much on our behalf to imply that we have more to be fearful of than they did. Yet they faithfully protected our freedoms and now it’s up to us to do the very same thing!

We have a duty as Americans to defend our citizens' right not only to life but also to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is therefore vital in our current circumstances that immediate steps be taken to safeguard our Constitution against the present danger posed by the intrusive overreaching on the part of the Executive branch and the President's apparent belief that he need not live under the rule of law.

I endorse the words of Bob Barr, when he said, and I quote: "The President has dared the American people to do something about it. For the sake of the Constitution, I hope they will."

A special counsel should immediately be appointed by the Attorney General to remedy the obvious conflict of interest that prevents him from investigating what many believe are serious violations of law by the President. We’ve had a fresh demonstration of how an independent investigation by a special counsel with integrity can rebuild confidence in our system of justice. Patrick Fitzgerald has, by all accounts, shown neither fear nor favor in pursuing allegations that the Executive branch has violated other laws.

Republican as well as Democratic members of Congress should support the bipartisan call of the Liberty Coalition for the appointment of this special counsel to pursue the criminal issues raised by the warrantless wiretapping of Americans by the President, and it should be a political issue in any race -- regardless of party, section of the country, house of congress for anyone who opposes the appointment of a special counsel under these dangerous circumstances when our Constitution is at risk. Secondly, new whistleblower protections should immediately be established for members of the Executive branch who report evidence of wrongdoing -- especially where it involves the abuse of authority in these sensitive areas of national security.

Third, both Houses of Congress should, of course, hold comprehensive-and not just superficial-hearings into these serious allegations of criminal behavior on the part of the President. And, they should follow the evidence wherever it leads.

Fourth, the extensive new powers requested by the Executive branch in its proposal to extend and enlarge the Patriot Act should, under no circumstances be granted, unless and until there are adequate and enforceable safeguards to protect the Constitution and the rights of the American people against the kinds of abuses that have so recently been revealed.

Fifth, any telecommunications company that has provided the government with access to private information concerning the communications of Americans without a proper warrant should immediately cease and desist their complicity in this apparently illegal invasion of the privacy of American citizens.

Freedom of communication is an essential prerequisite for the restoration of the health of our democracy.

It is particularly important that the freedom of the Internet be protected against either the encroachment of government or efforts at control by large media conglomerates. The future of our democracy depends on it.

In closing, I mentioned that along with cause for concern, there is reason for hope. As I stand here today, I am filled with optimism that America is on the eve of a golden age in which the vitality of our democracy will be re-established by the people and will flourish more vibrantly than ever. Indeed I can feel it in this hall.

As Dr. King once said, "Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movements and pray that our own inner being may be sensitive to its guidance, for we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us."

Thank you, very much.

1/22/2006 12:27:00 AM  
Anonymous girly pen-name said...

-- HOW TO BE A GOOD REPUBLICAN --


1. You have to believe that the AIDS virus is spread because people are evil and should be punished.

2. You have to believe that the evolution is a myth (despite the evidence of biochemistry and the fossil record) but that Intelligent Design theory should be taught in schools.

3. You have to believe that there is no causal link between legal, easily-obtainable handguns and high murder rates.

4. You have to believe that unfunded arts and school programs are still subject to government control.

5. You have to believe that global temperatures are completely unaffected by fossil fuel emissions, that the best way to save the national forests is to allow logging companies to cut down old-growth timber, and the best way to save endangered species is to allow trophy hunters and wildlife traders to import more of them.

6. You have to believe that homosexuality is evil (despite the fact that it occurs in nature) and that women should stay at home to cook and bear children.

7. You have to be against abortion but support capital punishment.

8. You have to believe that corporations never purposely hurt anyone to make money.

9. You have to believe that hunting requires an automatic rifle.

10. You have to believe that middle class income should be taxed, but inherited wealth should not be.

11. You have to believe that war is an acceptable solution to any economic or social problem.

12. You have to believe that everyone should support the troops - except when it comes to pay or benefits.

13. You have to believe the NRA is good because it supports certain parts of the Constitution, while the ACLU is bad because it supports certain parts of the Constitution.

13. You have to believe that taxes are for poor and middle class people, not the rich.

14. You have to believe that Oliver North and Monica Lewinsky are more important to American history than Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy.

15. You have to believe that affirmative action is wrong, because everyone knows there's no more racism in America.

16. You have to believe that Ann Coulter is normal and really a very nice person.

17. You have to believe that the only reason supply-side economics hasn't worked anywhere it's been tried is because the right people haven't been in charge.

18. You have to believe liberals telling the truth belong in jail, but a liar and draft-dodger belongs in the White House.

19. You have to believe that all Americans should be white heterosexual Christians.

20. You have to believe that illegal Republican Party funding by corporations is somehow in the best interest of the United States.

21. You have to believe that the media are biased toward liberals, despite the fact that all the major media outlets are owned by ultra-rich conservatives.
- - -

(demerits to Courtney Cunningham , Rebecca Graff who apparently (like a typical conservative) only gave you THEIR half of the story, surlypenguin! (You're so easy!))

1/22/2006 12:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

who in their right mind believes, or cares, about these long winded politically based diatribes, particularly when they promote liberal b.s.....I mean, war?..inevitable, over the course of history...taxes?....I don't know, come up with a fair system (there is a lot of debate); tjhe Kennedys? are you kidding?; I mean, can you find another filthy rich, liberal, out of touch, groupf of people who thought they that they shoud should be the ruling class? (maybe supplanted by the Clintons (and maybe Bill is going into the cigar bsuiness)...political transparencies, lies, and double dealing is rampant on both sides. At least the repubs try to keep the country safe (while the dems are trying to figure out how to use the cigar)

1/22/2006 01:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to the idiot who wrote the book on a subject no one cares about-SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!!!!

1/22/2006 01:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

18. You have to believe liberals telling the truth belong in jail, but a liar and draft-dodger belongs in the White House.

Hey dumbass? That was Clinton the draft dodger - Bush served. Moderator has beaten your arguemtns to a pulp more than once.

1/22/2006 01:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anyone read that five hundred page diatribe? I didn't.

Hey asshole.....if you want to get someone's attention, keep it reasonable....that means no more than say....50 paragraphs....DICKHEAD!!

1/22/2006 01:26:00 AM  
Anonymous click on this here!!! said...

To those ALLERGIC to W-O-R-D-Z.... (duh!)

Simply click ONCE on the "said" portion of a poster's "name"... this will COLLAPSE that particular post so you can stop yer crying and get back to slamming certain beat cars in certain districts... Jesus H. Christopholese! What a bunch of whiners! WAAAAAAAHHHHH ! Stop yer belly-achin' already! CLICK ON THE AUTHOR OF THE POST and yer ALL GOOD, no lost wood!

1/22/2006 01:34:00 AM  
Blogger BATHROOM WALL ? said...

It's weird too- a lot of readers click on the "time" of a particular post on the "front page" of Second City, consequently never getting to the main "Comments" page with additional bells and whistles like collapsing ALL comments, showing the original post while you compose your reply, and most importantly the little wacky PICTURES selected by the posters... (need more folks to get creative with those again... getting boring! Sign up for a Blogger account already and make your pics hilarious you boneheads!

1/22/2006 01:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where have you been 023 jerk off boy. I'd rather read Malcolm and Lefty any day. Shouldn't you be outside the Manhole with your "Free Mumia" petition?

1/22/2006 02:32:00 AM  
Anonymous leftisthebest said...

I have to admit now that the Manhole is closed, I have been posting all of those comments. I also must admit that I am not that smart and should have chosen a better password and will never post under this name again. I will make up a new name every time, and post anonymously, to make it appear that I am more than one person.

1/22/2006 03:23:00 AM  
Anonymous rue st. michel said...

Gosh, it really is too easy to impersonate others here... toodles!

1/22/2006 03:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush served drinks and coke more than once while he evaded service while "politickin'" in Alabama from his original cush-dodge spot in Texas. Your "Shrub`ya" met both these disgraceful designations: under 30 days unaccounted for... A.W.O.L.... OVER 30 days "disappeared" in the Bush = DESERTER!

ANOTHER of your arguments beaten to a pulp. BOHICA, here you'll cum again!

1/22/2006 03:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks TIMMAAH!!!

Were did you serve, besides the glory hole?

1/22/2006 04:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to the 15 cops who still actually post here: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, damn this shit is old.

1/22/2006 08:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good ole 016 cops from other districts patrolling ours go patrol your own shit cause that what it is

1/22/2006 01:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you think 1611 or 1613 are bad...u should see 812. Lived here almost 15 years and have seen the beat car about times. Once every 5 years not to bad.
See the Bedford Park police cutting thru to beat the train about once a day.
Wonder if that new LT on 3rd watch in 008 is reading these posting?

1/22/2006 02:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The above post is accurate. I too wish to thank Bedford Park P.D. and The Belt-line Railway Police for their police presence in our neighborhood. I have only seen CPD patrolling my block once, in a decade living there!

1/22/2006 09:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Not_a_bosses_kid said...

The only Police Cars I see in the neighborhood, are the "take home" cars of some members parked in front of their homes.

I only see 008 district cars parked at their lunch locations.

1/22/2006 09:50:00 PM  
Anonymous 812 tough guy.. said...

If you have a problem with me on bt 812 come and get me bitch im at 5812 S. Central. If you have the balls ill kick you right in the face with my clorino shoes.....

1/22/2006 09:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 008th District had the most calls for service last year. So although most of the calls are bullshit on the westend, the officers do get hammered with calls. If you are unhappy with service, call your alderman and ask for more police officers assigned to 008. If that fails, move But stopped sounding like the shit we deal with on the streets.

1/23/2006 07:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Biggest DOGASS on the job anywhere is none other than T. "leftisthebest" O'Grady. he is a doooooo nooooothing on 2nd Watch.

1/23/2006 12:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Sgt. Saunders said...

I think I'm going to transfer into 023 and find out what the story is with this O'Grady fella. When I'm done there, I'm going to 016 and see whats up with 1631,1623 and 1611. Maybe I can motivate them. Ah, fuck it, maybe the whole District except Bone and Brosnan. Then I'm going to 5812 S Central and meet beat 812 and kick some ass. Maybe after I do all of that we won't have to listen to this never ending whining by the little girl that continually posts about them.
That is all. Carry on!

1/23/2006 07:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5812 S Central.....812 LOL what a joke. Signature Flight Support 24/7 sub station for the 008th District. Free Coffee and Clean Bath Rooms not to mention cable and satellite TV with all the stations. Also,at least clean up after your selves or drop some cash on the counter so that girl working can clean up after you. When i pass there it looks like an outdoor roll call. So if you looking for something to do how about sitting on some stop signs arounds those "quiet" areas by the tracks.
Im so sorry but your probably to busy watching Skating with the stars or the Poker tournaments on TV at 5812 S Central to do traffic. A little attention to a few stop signs are gonna save some little kids lives.

1/23/2006 08:20:00 PM  
Anonymous VIKING II said...

I have to respond to the O'Grady post. I know Tim and I admit he is a liberal, but he would do anything in the world for another copper. Yes he does rant on and on and on but he really is a nice guy. He's not all thats been said.

1/23/2006 10:30:00 PM  

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