Saturday, January 21, 2006

This Week's Issue

I sent an old friend of mine a link to a site that details the versatility of a common impolite word--the infamous "F" word. The site made me laugh out loud, so I had to share it with a few of my friends who would enjoy it. (Neal Boortz linked to this site on yesterday's Reading List, if you'd like to check it out.)

My friend who e-mailed me back enjoyed it, but had to comment about that we might get into trouble if "Busch" caught us reading the site.

I shook my head. At least he didn't refer to Bush as "Bushitler."

I tend to have a rather cavalier attitude towards threats that The Government is reading my mail, whether paper or electronic. When I was a sophomore in high school, I wrote to the Soviet Embassy in Washington, D.C., and the Soviet Delegation to the U.N. in New York asking for information for a school project. They sent me two huge packages, including a defense of their suppression of the Czech uprising that had happened in August (I got the package in late September). My mother looked at the packages and said, "You're on The List now."

My life since then has been very circumspect. My mail is mostly bills. My reading lists from the library are all over the map, especially since my children can't seem to keep track of their library cards. If my grocery store monitors my purchases, it only seems logical that The Government would want to be able to monitor my Web surfing.

But my friend is right. We should be concerned about The Government poking its nose into our business. And we do need people to speak out and remind those of us who are not paranoid that The Government isn't always benign. Illegal things have been done, by many Administrations, across the political stripe.

What the Democrats don't realize, however, is they are rapidly becoming the Party Who Cried Wolf. The Republicans currently have a majority, but it is not overwhelming. If the Dems were savvy, they could exploit that difference, seek compromise, identify and work with those Reps who are ideologically in common. Instead, the Dems vote with the majority, then make excuses that they "didn't know." Or they yell, screech, and pout, embarassing themselves in the media. (And often end up voting with the Republicans anyway.)

If everything is a crisis, then nothing is.

And so, instead of getting up in arms and idignant about an important issue, We the People ignore it. The issue gets lost in the background noise of other Major Issues that Must Be Addressed. Last week it was Global Warming, this week it's Internet records, next week it will be--what? Education? Taxes? Social Security? Iran? Who knows? Certainly not the Democrats. And, to a lesser extent, not the Republicans.