An aggravating commercial, but it is free speech

 Defense of Democracy is a new group

And talk about spin city…. but it is free speech.

I appreciated that they included details of their commercial on their website. It actually makes it pretty easy to use as a template to create a counter one. Thus…. here is some proposed audio. If anyone wants to run with it, by all means feel free to use this in any form you like. Kaltura makes for a pretty easy way to put together collaborative video projects.

  • (Music ramps up)
  • Midnight.
  • February 16th.
  • The law that lets the phone companies off the hook expires….
  • Senate Democrats and Republicans vote overwhelmingly to protect the phone co.
  • But the House refuses to vote on H.R.3773 (as amended by the Senate) and instead….
  • want to protect the lives of American citizens AND their civil liberties.
  • So the phone company looses
  • Tell the House of Representatives to do its job and continue to block the Senate’s Terror Surveillance Bill. FISA must be updated based upon todays technology, AND it must also protect the civil liberties of American Citizens.

I’m not anti phone co… well ok, I’m anti alltel, but thats another story entirely. Protecting the phone company from being hung out to dry is a good thing to ensure continued cooperation in grey areas of the law, but it best not be a deciding factor as to whether FISA is updated or not. American lives may be at stake.

I also have even greater respect for Barack Obama, who chose to vote NO when the bill was before the senate. For reference, Hillary did not vote, and John McCain voted for it.

Here is a letter from Barack Obama to one of his constituents. I’ve copied a part of  it here.

On February 12, 2008, the Senate passed S. 2248, making its own reforms to FISA. I am disappointed that S. 2248, if signed into law, will grant an unprecedented level of immunity for telecommunications companies that cooperated with the President’s warrantless wiretapping program. I was proud to cosponsor several amendments, including the Dodd-Feingold amendment to strike the immunity provision, that would have enhanced privacy protections while maintaining the tools to fight terrorism. However, with the defeat of this amendment, telecom companies will not be held accountable even if it could be proven that they clearly and knowingly broke the law and nullified the privacy rights of Americans. I am frustrated by the President’s decision to play politics by threatening to veto any legislation not containing immunity. Why the President continues to try to hold this important legislation captive to that special interest provision defies explanation. The House and Senate must reconcile differences between the two versions of the bill before being signed into law.

The American people understand that new threats require flexible responses to keep them safe, and that our intelligence gathering capability needs to be improved. What they do not want is for the President or the Congress to use these imperatives as a pretext for promoting policies that not only go further than necessary to meet a real threat, but also violate some of the most basic tenets of our democracy. Like most members of Congress, I continue to believe that the essential objective of conducting effective domestic surveillance in the War on Terror can be achieved without discarding our constitutionally protected civil liberties.

And thank you as well to congressman Tim Walz for taking a stand on this.

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