We seem to have all these people continuing with their optimistic bent toward the upcoming Presidential election. There does seem to be a bit of a cooling in expectation, though. I may not share the groundless optimism of many, but my expectations are actually on the rise. I expect a lot of any new administration.
For example, the Supreme Court just decided that they would not even hear a case that was challenging the President’s powers to spy on Americans. They let stand a lower court ruling which said that the plaintiffs had no evidence the government was spying on them. It’s not for the plaintiff’s lack of trying, however.
Also, the website that has brought so many nasty problems out of hiding and into the light has been shut down by US Courts. At least, the United States server has. We now have to look to other countries to provide us information about what our government is actually up to. Wikileaks has been an incredibly wonderful place that nice, normal people within the government can go to, to place out into the public eye some of the terrible things they are privy to, that are hidden from the rest of us.
People who are poised to commit acts of terrorism know full well that they must protect their communications. There is very little or no benefit in being able to listen in on conversations or email communication that all Americans might have. However, there is a great deal to be gained if you have something in place like the “Homegrown Terrorism Act“, which tries to identify people’s thinking and behaviour before they ever become terrorists. This bill has passed out of the House and is now in the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. This is, remember, the same same Senate that just decided it was OK to wiretap us without having to get warrants, and offers any companies helping the Executive to do so, complete legal immunity.
When you combine this, with the Supreme Court’s recent decision to not even hear a case that would challenge the constitutionality of warrantless spying, it leaves little else but grim prospects for our freedom and rights to express ourselves.
Grim prospects, except for our new Presidential candidates. Unfortunately, they are not addressing questions that have any significance related to our basic freedoms that have been, for some years now, under attack and eroded. What questions are the truly significant ones? And are they up to the task?