Friday, December 23, 2005

Cheney vs. Cholera

I read a lot...and I laugh a lot too. It's less often that the two happen at the same time.

An exception just occured while I was reading Barry Crimmins' year-end piece in the Boston Phoenix, and got to this line: Dick Cheney is now trailing cholera in opinion surveys.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Spies vs. Provocateurs

After reading this New York Times article about police infiltration of protests, I had to preach a bit to the choir:

I'm not a lawyer (Condoleeza said it numerous times on Meet The Press, so I'll say it once), but a few things seem obvious to me:

With all the spying and snooping and such, I have no doubt that police departments large and small are engaged in infiltration of peace groups, demonstrations, etc. Having "smiled for the camera" many times myself, I have come to accept this. If there's a "list," then I'm definitely on it. Constitutionality aside, I accept this as fact (so go ahead, try and steal my identity, bad credit, etc.).

I do however recognize a huge difference between spying on protesters (passively, one might argue, just listening, videotaping, etc.) and ACTIVELY instigating or influencing events. It's one thing for the authorities to surveil a suspected terrorist (I'm on the lawful side in believing that it should be legal - court order, non-impeachable-style). It's another thing entirely when law enforcement stages events (from faking the handcuffs to blowing things up) in order to entrap the "bad guys."

When a regular citizen "mole" slips into, say, a Camp Casey event, with provocateur intentions - though I might detest their motives, I still recognize their right to do so, and even admire their bravery a little. If they are doing this as a cititzen, activist, civilian - OK - we have peacekeepers to deal with that. But when a government official is the one doing it, they areVIOLATING EVERYONE'S RIGHTS, including their own. This is what must be stopped. This is why the NYTimes article has me fuming.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Seven of the Prairie Chapel 12, on stage at Camp Casey II