Friday, May 12, 2006

Infernal Snowball Fight to Follow Porcine Landing Maneuvers

Years back QWEST took over our phone company US West. Their slogan was "US West is now QWEST!" to which many of us replied "And still sucks!" When Speakeasy started offering VOIP we signed up right away. And I had started the process of dropping QWEST altogether. Nothing could convince me to stick with QWEST, its customer "service" and hidden costs.

That all changed today.

Some of you may have been raised in a bell jar and have only recently been released. I'll bring you up to speed. The President has decided without any law being passed, any Court decisions made or even the sneering formality of a signing statement that he can spy on any communication between Americans in this country. No probable cause. No ongoing investigation. No court order. He just can. The separation of powers doesn't apply to what Attorney General Gonzales calls "The Unitary Executive".

Bush has been exercising this newly created power by sending the NSA on a massive fishing expedition. The phone calls of tens of millions of Americans have been intercepted, analyzed and stored in the NSA's databases. These are not people who are suspected of terrorism. They are just innocent people caught up in the largest invasion of privacy this country has ever experienced.

All of the big telcos except one rolled over and gave the President what he demanded. QWEST was the lone holdout. They refused to hand over their records without proper warrants out of concern for their customers' privacy. For that alone they deserve our support. We'll keep the VOIP for extended long distance calls. We'll still grumble about our phone bill. But we'll be sticking with QWEST. They came through when it mattered and when nobody else had the courage to stand up to Big Brother.

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