Archive for the ‘politics.’

The Letter that I’m Overnighting to My Senator

The FISA amendment act is coming due on Tuesday. I’m overnighting a letter to my Senator and calling him as well. I encourage you to do the same.

To Contact your Senator: Enter your zip at this website and they will give you the phone number to the offices of the officials who represent you.

Here’s the letter:

Mr. Steven Place


Melbourne, FL 32934

July 7, 2008

Mr. Mel Martinez

United States Senator

356 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Dear Mr. Martinez:

I am writing to you today in regards to the FISA Amendments Act. As a constituent, I feel that it is my patriotic duty to contact you and explain how this piece of legislation, if passed, will severely damage our democracy and for what it stands.

I respectfully request that you act on these measures:

· Vote “YES” on the Dodd-Feingold amendment, which would strip telecom immunity from the bill entirely.

· Vote “YES” on the Bingaman amendment, which would delay implementation of telecom immunity until after Congress has received the Inspectors General report on the President’s warrantless surveillance program.

· Vote “NO” on the cloture motion to end debate on the FAA.

· Vote “NO” on the FISA Amendments Act.

The reasons for the above request are as follows:

The legislation violates the constitution. The 4th amendment guarantees citizens the right against unreasonable searches and seizures unless a Warrant is issued. The legislation goes directly against what the constitution says and what it represents. If the government wishes to legislate measures as stated in the FAA, it needs to submit a constitutional amendment.

The legislation protects corporations from legal action. This should be decided by the courts, not the legislative branch. By enacting this amendment, it will set a legal precedent with which the judicial branch will lose power over creating legal and civil action against corporations. Furthermore, the bill wishes to grant retroactive immunity for actions that we do not know. Even closed hearings to Senators with clearances on the Intelligence Committee have not proven a rationale for this amendment.

The legislation expands power of the executive branch. By giving the executive branch legal authority to bypass warrants during searches, you restrict the system of checks and balances that our government needs in order to function properly.

The legislation gives the executive branch leverage over opponents. Expanding on the previous point, this amendment would give the executive branch tools with which they could suppress political opposition. If a whistleblower had information that would weaken the position of the executive branch in any way, warrantless wiretapping could be used to bully, blackmail, or manipulate opponents by adding deterrents. This method could be expanded to political opponents, advocates, and even Senators. By giving even the availability to the executive branch, we reduce the principles of our democracy.

This is not about politics, but morals. I ask you to transcend partisan lines as I encourage you to take these points into consideration. By taking the actions as listed above, you would be taking a great step towards a stronger democracy and a better America.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Along with the mailing address above, you can contact me with the information below.


Steven Place

h: [home phone]

w: [work phone]

e: [e-mail]

Iranian Hostage Crisis, Part 2?

Back in 1980, 52 U.S. diplomats were taken hostage in Iran. This incident, during the Iranian revolution, was a major blow to foreign policy and intelligence in the Middle East. After a botched extraction attempt (I personally know people who flew on that mission… disaster), the Algiers Accords were signed.

The incident was a major blow for the reelection campaign for Jimmy Carter. The very second after Regan was elected, the hostages were released. It also helped strengthen the Islamic revolution under Khomeni and showed vulnerabilities of one of the major superpowers at the time.

Is Iran doing the same thing with oil?

Persian Gulf
As of this writing, there were Iranian supertankers in the persioan gulf that hold about 5 months worth of extra crude oil. Why the stockpiling? Of course, you can use it as economic leverage against any attack on their coun

try, but what if the oil is being held hostage until a new president takes office?

The cost of oil, among many other reasons, have dropped the president’s rating to unprecedented levels. Bringing that sort of supply onto the market would create some serious turbulence in the commodities markets, possibly causing a correction in prices.
There are some hidden paralells that come to mind when comparing the two events. The major underlying theme may be that the Iranian government is trying to garner political and economic influence in the West, albeit indirectly.