Domestic: The New International

Filed in PoliticsTags: Media Bias, War on Terror

Spying. Eavesdropping. Surveillance. Warrantless Searches. What do all these terms have in common? The MSM continually insist on describing these activities, with respect to the much-aligned NSA program of intercepting calls originating outside the US by known al qaeda aperatives, as being "domestic" - every single time. When challenged about this terminology, the MSM seems confused as to why calls from one country to another are "international":

Q Back to the NSA. The White House last night put out paper backing up its claims that this was a terrorist surveillance program, saying the charges of domestic spying — you defined what “domestic” meant. Isn’t one end of that phone call on domestic soil? Why is the charge of it being domestic spying so far off?

MR. McCLELLAN: For the same reasons that a phone call from someone inside the United States to someone outside the United States is not a domestic call. If you look at how that is billed on your phone records, it’s billed as an international call, it is charged the international rate. And so that’s the best way to sum that up. Because one communication within this surveillance has to be outside of the United States. That means it’s an international communication, for the very reason I just said.

(Emphasis added by source)

(HT: Allman's Electric Stove)

For the terminologically challenged, I offer the following entries from dictionary.com:

do·mes·tic
adj.

  1. Of or relating to the family or household: domestic chores.
  2. Fond of home life and household affairs.
  3. Tame or domesticated. Used of animals.
  4. Of or relating to a country's internal affairs: domestic issues such as tax rates and highway construction.
  5. Produced in or indigenous to a particular country: domestic oil; domestic wine.

in·ter·na·tion·al
adj.

  1. Of, relating to, or involving two or more nations: an international commission; international affairs.
  2. Extending across or transcending national boundaries: international fame.

Oh, but let's get back to the exchange, shall we?

Q Right. But one of the people being eavesdropped on is on domestic soil.

MR. McCLELLAN: I think it leaves an inaccurate impression with the American people to say that this is domestic spying.

Q Why is that inaccurate?

MR. McCLELLAN: For the reasons that General Hayden has said, for the reasons that others have said within the administration, and for the example I just provided to you. You don’t call a flight from New York to somewhere in Afghanistan, a domestic flight. It’s called an international flight.

Q Right, but –

Right, but... you're either an idiot, delusional, or intentionally trying to mislead.

I take that back; I'm guessing you're all three.

Real Congressional Reform

Filed in PoliticsTags: Democrats, Republicans

I have absolutely no confidence that, as currently arranged gerrymandered, Congress will see no meaningful reform. Why? Incumbency. Virtually every incumbent seat in the House of Representatives is safe. We have almost no real congressional challenges. Once an incumbent, always an incumbent - until death do us part.

The primary reason that incumbency inhibits legitimate election challenges under the present system is that congressional districts are so absurdly gerrymandered that virtually all districts are sufficiently homogeneous with respect to party affiliation of registered voters that an opposing party's challenger has almost no chance to unseat an incumbent. Without facing a real election challenge in a politically diverse district, incumbents become much more likely to succomb to the "Beltway syndrome" with each successive term.

Some may say that instituting term limits would solve the incumbency problem. For me, the jury is still out on that idea. But I have a better, and more eloquent answer that would both solve the gerrymandering problem, and help resolve the incumbency problem: require that ZIP codes must reside wholly in a congressional district.

The solution is simple, objective, and still maintains the proportionality of congressional districts. More importantly, as the demographics of a given congressional district change, so will the political nature of that district. As populations move in and out of ZIP code areas, district sizes will change, but such changes would not inherently favor one political party or another. (Though, given the current "red-shift" of the population from "blue" states into "red" states, and given the county-by-county election results of 2000 and 2004, the democrats may cry foul.)

I don't know the intricacies of how the ZIP code system works, but on the surface, it seems to me the idea might be viable.

Thousands and Millions

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Welcome Thousands and Millions to the OYB blogroll!

P.S. Shout out to Manchester! I was there during the Commonwealth Games in '02 doing mission work though World Harvest Bible Church in Salford.

OYB: January 27

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Exodus 4, Exodus 5:1-21
NT: Matthew 18:1-20
Ps: Psalm 22:19-31
Pr: Proverbs 5:15-21

Today´s notable verse:

11 The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD ? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."

Exodus 4:11-12 (NIV)

I am struck by the thought that Moses really wasted an opportunity here by appealing to God out of a desire to make excuses for and to rationalize not following God's command, rather than out of a sense of humility toward his own ability. God still used Moses, to be sure - but what potential was lost for God to demonstrate His power through Moses even more? Even so, I love God's response: I created your senses; am I not capable of using them for my purposes? Also, how often do I rely on God to help me speak and to teach me what to say in the circumstances in which I find myself daily?

19 "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

Matthew 18:19-20 (NIV)

What an amazing declaration of the power of but two believers standing in faith on God's will!

The One Year Bible Blog notes:

Comments from you & Question of the Day - With my thoughts above on the serious topic of sexual sin - does anyone have any resources, books, websites, that you can recommend to folks that are struggling with sexual temptation or sin? Have you seen people in your life be enslaved to sexual sin? Hopefully you have also seen people also be freed from that enslavement through Jesus? Do you think that sexual sin - lust, pornography, adultery, etc. - is a rampant issue in our society today? Do you think it's worse now than the past? Or do you think sexual sin has always been an issue in the past and will be until Jesus returns again?

There are a lot of great books out there - some of which I'll review when I get the opportunity. Sin is sin, to be sure - and all sin enslaves just as Christ redeems us from all sin. Yet, sexual sin is given special treatment in the Bible, since we sin against ourselves, and against the Spirit, since our bodies our His temple. Sex is so pervasive in our society today, but I think that sexaul sin has always been as rampant, if not always openly so. Consider that polygamy - as adultery, a form of sexual sin - was one of the first sins recorded in the Bible for Cain's line of descent (Lamech), and sexual depravity was almost always indicative of the most perverse civilizations (e.g. Sodom). Remember, there is nothing new under the sun! Satan isn't inventing new sins; just new ways to tempt and ensnare us in those sins.