To the tune of “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt“:
Congressman Dingle once again!
Her name is his name too!
Whenever we go vote
Even without the old goat
We’ll get Congressman Dingle once again!
Repeat every year since 1932 and forevermore…
I had been thinking to myself earlier this year that we could know America had not quite yet degenerated into a full-blown police state. Why? Because we hadn’t reached the point where people worry about being “disappeared” if they offend the government.
Right on cue, we have a trial balloon testing this concept. Will Americans be outraged enough that someone is actually fired (and finds it a Career-Limiting Move™, not just a prelude to promotion)?* Or will this blow over, leaving the effect that “disappearing” troublesome Americans is now thinkable, and part of the national consciousness?
I hope I’m wrong about which way this is going to go.
* Prosecuted would be even more appropriate, but I’ve already lowered my expectations.
Between the Rand Paul filibuster and the conviction of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick for corruption and racketeering, it seemed a good night to (finally!) watch Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. It did not disappoint.
I don’t know how they balance checkbooks in Washington, but every time I increase spending and borrowing around our place the household economy goes straight to hell. Mind you, banks need our loan interest to thrive and grow, just as corporate manufacturers need us to buy their latest products, but a certain comfort and sense of independence comes with saving, not borrowing, for one’s needs. If these needs are simple and fail to bolster the national economy, then all we can do is hope the government will muddle through without our help a while longer.
— Peter V. Fossel, Organic Farming: Everything You Need to Know
Flee fro the prees, and dwelle with sothfastnesse;
Suffyce unto thy thyng, though hit be smal…
However just and anxious I have been,
I will stop and step back
from the crowd of those who may agree
with what I say, and be apart.
There is no earthly promise of life or peace
but where the roots branch and weave
their patient silent passages in the dark;
uprooted, I have been furious without an aim.
I am not bound for any public place,
but for ground of my own
where I have planted vines and orchard trees,
and in the heat of the day climbed up
into the healing shadow of the woods.
Better than any argument is to rise at dawn
and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup
— Wendell Berry
The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US government can not pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government’s reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that “the buck stops here.” Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.
— Sen. Barack H. Obama, March 2006
As the French saying goes, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
Looks like I called it right back in 2003:
Microsoft Opens Source to China. Then think through the national security implications if Jim Allchin’s sworn testimony is actually true.
So, is Jim Allchin guilty of perjury, or is Bill Gates guilty of treason? You decide!
Fast forward to late 2010. Now, due to Wikileaks, we know the following:
Chinese security firms with ties to the Chinese military have hired hackers, including the group responsible for the original Blaster worm, U.S. diplomats alleged in a 2009 cable published Saturday by WikiLeaks.
The companies also have access to the source code to Microsoft Windows.
According to the U.S. State Department’s daily security briefing of June 29, 2009, Topsec of Beijing had employed “a known Chinese hacker” from June 2002 to March 2003. Identified as Lin Yong, aka “Lion,” the hacker served as a senior security service engineer to “manage security service and training.”
America researchers and security analysts have long suspected that China’s military has extensive cyberwarfare capabilities. In 2007, a Department of Defense report claimed that the PLA had first-strike know-how, and had created military units charged with developing viruses to attack enemy computer networks.
Looks like we can clear Mr. Allchin of the perjury charge.
That leaves the treason charge against Bill Gates…
I eagerly await Sarah Palin to call for Bill Gates to be “pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders” for this “treasonous act” of compromising our military security with respect to a potentially hostile foreign power.
But I won’t be holding my breath.
Elegy in a Country Churchyard
The men that worked for England
They have their graves at home:
And bees and birds of England
About the cross can roam.
But they that fought for England,
Following a falling star,
Alas, alas for England
They have their graves afar.
And they that rule in England,
In stately conclave met,
Alas, alas for England,
They have no graves as yet.
– G.K. Chesterton