Saturday, January 21, 2006

Is Anyone Out There Watching Us?

Well, Bush, I got finished yesterday with the chore of reading through the first year of The Bush Diaries, November 2004 (shortly after your re-election, remember?) to November 2005. Though I say so myself, I think it makes for an interesting book. It's a very personal take on your shenanigans in office and it approaches serious things with a light touch. It's also interesting to have a day-to-day record that is more a continuum of sometimes tangential observation than an attempt to reflect historical events chronologically, and in terms of their relative importance. I enjoy the changes of rhythm, the snatches of poetry here and there, the cultural asides. It remains to be seen, of course, if others like it, too. Let's hope we end up with a bestseller on our hands, Bush. That would be something, no?

I do have a nagging concern about the whole enterprise, however, and I thought I'd share it with you. Someone asked me the other day--and this is by no means the first time--if I wasn't worried about putting out this not always respectful conversation with your good self on the Internet. The suggestion, of course, was that I might be attracting unwelcome attention to myself, especially in view of continuing news about domestic spying. First it was intercepting the telephone calls of numerous private citizens--a practice that you authorized, Bush, despite concerns from your own advisers about its legality. Now we hear that Google is fighting off an alarming government demand for records on the electronic activities of its customers, supposedly in pursuit of online pornographers. And to compound the Google alarm comes news that other search engines have apparently happily complied with similar government requests already.

So is anyone watching us, Bush? I mean, our collaboration on The Bush Diaries? I guess you ought to know. It's a frightening and a saddening thought that our good-humored daily banter might be the object of surveillance by some government agent who might be less appreciative of the humor of the thing than you or I. Shades of the totalitarian state, Bush. Shades of the Gestapo and the KGB. And there's your spooky Cheney, yesterday, attacking those who might presume to question your authority--and, of course, by extension, his--to spy on anyone you choose to, all in the name of protecting us from the evil terrorists. And there was Bin Laden, just the day before, cocking a cheeky snook in your direction as he offered you a truce!

Well, I guess that the reappearance of your nemesis says more about the efficacy of your intelligence program than I could do in a ream of entries in The Bush Diaries. But I trust you won't take it personally when the book comes out. I'm trusting you, Bush, not to set the snooping dogs on me.

8 comments:

dennis said...

Wow. Trust him?! Besides, it's the zealous bureacrats one must concern onself with. Let's keep the ACLU phone number close at hand.

PK said...

At least Google can, and does, see it as a ruse. The Bush boys have used up the terror card, they know it. The only other thing they have is the porn card. They figure every mother will go nuts thinking there has to be a whole lot out there to have Bush doing this, when in reality it's just his paranoia going rampant. My only hope is that Google fights them tooth and nail. Trust Bush? HA, I wouldn't trust him any further than I could pick him up and throw him!

PeterAtLarge said...

Okay, guys. Just a little gentle sarcasm there. Thanks for writing!

Brian Jones said...

Now you've got me wondering, Peter, are those of us that are reading you also being watched. Or is my paranoi showing. Actually, I would be honored to be on the list of those who feel it is necessary to question our government and not just faithfully follow any leader.

dennis said...

I don't fear them much. they know they would lose huge numbers of their own constituency if caught doing something about our opinions. The conditions here aren't the same as pre-nazi Gemany. The internet has also become our greatest ally. We aren't going to be caught isolated. If watching ordinary good citizens like us, only doing our civic responsibility, they will be found out sooner or later and too many people will raise hell. If any one of us were to be arrested, twenty people would know about it and that number would quickly become 20 million or more.
So, if they want to waste our tax dollars watching us, they're making a big mistake.

dennis said...

Let's form a pact. If any of us are harrassed by feds, the rest shall immedeately begin a class action suit.

LillianAbel said...

This is a great commentary on the Orwellian society we have been growing into at an alarming rate. We can never stop voicing our opinions and if it leads to our being harassed by the Feds.... I'm ready for it. Bring it on!

Anonymous said...

So Bush wants to get real close and personal does he? Then I say give it to him - he should stick his head in a toilet and watch me shit - it doesn't get more in depth than that.